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İnce, undecided voters will determine outcome of presidential race: veteran pollster

Muharrem Ince- Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Memleket Party leader Muharrem İnce (L) and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Political observer, pollster and owner of MetroPoll Professor Özer Sencar has said the results of Turkey’s presidential election slated for May 14 will be determined by undecided voters and opposition Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce, whose candidacy is feared to divide votes among Turkey’s opposition.

The presidential election results of polls titled “Turkey’s Pulse” for each of the first three months of 2023, which were conducted on an average of 2,046 participants in 28 provinces between Jan. 13 and March 14, were shared Friday by the pollster on social media.

According to the results of the March survey, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of an opposition bloc of six parties known as the Nation Alliance, would have received 44.6 percent of the vote, while his rival, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, would have garnered 44 percent if a presidential election were to be held this month.

Undecided voters accounted for 13.4 percent of respondents in the survey.

“No need to say much, everything is very clear. According to these data, the fate of the election will be determined by Muharrem İnce and the undecided,” Sencar said in a tweet.

In a move that is expected to divide votes among Turkey’s opposition, İnce, a former presidential candidate from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), announced earlier this month that he would run in the May 14 presidential election. The politician qualified to run in the race by collecting 111,301 signatures, the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) announced last week.

A person who is over the age of 40, has a university degree and meets the criteria to be elected a member of parliament can be nominated as a presidential candidate, either by 100,000 voters who sign a petition supporting their candidacy or by the nomination of a political party that has a parliamentary group or received at least 5 percent of the nationwide vote in the last elections.

İnce will be running as a presidential candidate in the election in addition to current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the joint candidate of Nation Alliance.

Many say if İnce stands as a candidate in the presidential election, his candidacy could weaken Kılıçdaroğlu’s chances of winning since his likely voters will be from among people supporting Kılıçdaroğlu, not Erdoğan.

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