A recent survey shows the opposition’s presidential candidate, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, winning against incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the first round of the presidential election scheduled for May 14.
Most opinion surveys show a neck-and-neck race between Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Erdoğan, who is seeking to extend his two-decade rule.
According to the results of the public survey conducted by MAK Consultancy, Kılıçdaroğlu will be elected by garnering a nationwide vote of 50.9 percent in the first round while Erdoğan will get 45.4 percent of the vote.
A presidential candidate must win more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected in the first round of the race. If none of the candidates manages to exceed 50 percent, a second round will be held two weeks later following which the candidate who gets the most votes will be elected to the top state post.
The results of the survey, conducted between April 26 and May 4 on 5,750 people, were announced by MAK Consultancy General Manager Mehmet Ali Kulat.
The survey showed Muharrem İnce, leader of the Memleket Party, receiving only 1.7 percent of the vote.
İnce, who was nominated as the CHP’s presidential candidate against Erdoğan in the 2018 election, is accused of splitting the opposition vote in an attempt to help Erdoğan win again.
İnce had since the last election parted ways with the CHP and established his own party.
The fourth presidential candidate, Sinan Oğan, who was nominated by a group of ultranationalist parties, will garner only 2 percent of the vote, according to the survey.
On May 14 Turkey will also hold parliamentary elections.
When asked about their political party choices, 36.9 percent of respondents said they would vote for the AKP, 30.1 percent said the CHP, 12.6 percent said the Green Left Party (YSP), and 10.4 percent said the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, while support for the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an election ally of the AKP, stood at 6.6. percent.
In April 2022, Turkey reduced its election threshold from 10 to 7 percent in a move that many said was aimed at saving the MHP from remaining below the election threshold.