Over half of AKP voters say they would withhold support in 2023 elections: poll

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A recent survey conducted by the MAK Consulting Company has revealed that more than half of Turkish citizens who voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at least once in the past won’t support the party in the 2023 elections, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to the poll, which was conducted between October 11-21 on 5,750 people, 56 percent of the ruling party’s supporters said they “definitely wouldn’t” vote for it in the next elections, while 36 percent said they “definitely would” and 8 percent said they were “having doubts” about which party they would support.

Of the AKP supporters who said they wouldn’t support the party in the 2023 elections, while 49 percent said the ruling party had made them “angry,” some 33 percent said they felt “sad” and 11 percent said they felt “offended” because of them, the MAK poll further showed.

When asked “Who [or what] made you feel angry, sad or offended?” the AKP voters responded “party policies,” “provincial and district organizations of the party,” “municipalities run by the party” and “the leader of the party,” which refers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with 15, 14, 11 and 9 percent, respectively, while 21 percent answered “several of those reasons.”

The participants were also asked whether they would vote for Erdoğan in the event that he once again stands a presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, to which 42 percent answered they “definitely wouldn’t,” 37 percent said they “definitely would” and 9 percent said they “might, but it depends on who his rivals are.”

The survey also revealed that an alliance between the AKP and its far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), known as the Public Alliance, would have had a nationwide vote of around 40 percent if a general election were to be held in October, when undecided voters are distributed among the parties.

The AKP would have received 32 percent of the vote, while the votes for the MHP, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), İYİ (Good) Party and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) would have stood at 8, 23.5, 14.7 and 9 percent, respectively, according to the poll.

The Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Future Party (GP), established by former heavyweights of the ruling AKP who parted ways with the party and established rival parties, would have garnered 2.7 and 2.6 percent, respectively, the poll results further showed.

In the last general election, held in June 2018, the AKP garnered a nationwide vote of 42.6 percent. However, public surveys have increasingly been showing the party’s public support to be slipping.

President Erdoğan, whose ruling AKP has been in power as a single party government since 2002, was elected president in 2014 and reelected in 2018. His election in 2018 was under a presidential system as Turkey switched from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance with a public referendum in 2017. Under the presidential system, Erdoğan is accused of establishing one-man rule, destroying the separation of powers and silencing dissent.

The AKP government launched a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens following a failed coup in July 2016 as thousands of people were jailed on trumped-up terrorism or coup charges.

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