The results of a survey conducted by the Ankara-based MetroPoll show Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of an opposition bloc, two and a half points ahead of his rival, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, local media reported on Monday.
Özer Sencar, the owner of MetroPoll, said in a series of tweets on Monday that according to the results of “The Pulse of Turkey” survey for March, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu would have garnered two and a half points more than Erdoğan if a presidential election were to be held this month.
The candidacy of Kılıçdaroğlu was announced by an opposition bloc of six parties, known as the Nation Alliance, on March 6 after a last-minute dispute was resolved.
The margin between the CHP leader and Erdoğan has narrowed compared to the results of a survey conducted by Istanbul Economics Research earlier in March. The monthly Turkey Report survey, the first since the nomination of Kılıçdaroğlu, showed him nine points ahead of his rival.
With Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections less than two months away, Sencar also announced that MetroPoll had decided not to share its findings on social media from now on but to send them only to subscribers.
“We’re sorry we had to make this decision. This is the result of pressure exerted by economic conditions,” Sencar said.
The development raised suspicion as to whether it was due to government censorship targeting research companies since MetroPoll was among the pollsters that made the most accurate predictions for the 2018 elections.
Erdoğan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power as a single-party government since 2002, was elected president in 2014 and re-elected 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.