4.3 percent of Turkey’s undecided voters shifted back towards ruling AKP – pollster

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is recovering part of the vote it lost during the economic crisis, according to a poll by the Social Impact Research Centre (TEAM).

The pollster announced on Sunday that the AKP had increased its votes by 4.3 percent in December, reaching 32.1 percent. The majority of the gain came from undecided voters, TEAm said in a tweet.

The AKP won 42.56 percent of the vote in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2018, and its alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won another 11.10 percent. Various crises led to a significant downturn in the ruling party’s votes, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ailing economy and the government’s increasingly unpopular refugee policies being the major contributing factors.

Some 23 percent of Turkey’s electorate was found to be undecided according to polls from September, and the majority of the undecided was found to have supported the AKP in the past. In January, leading pollster Metropoll found that 25.9 percent of voters were undecided, and that one third of them had sympathies for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to TEAM’s poll, conducted with 1,594 participants, the MHP stands to win 6.4 percent of the vote, leaving it below Turkey’s current high election threshold of 10 percent. Combined, the ruling People’s Alliance stands at 38.5 percent and could win up to 45.8 percent if undecided voters are taken into account.

To be elected president, a candidate needs to win more than 50 percent of the vote under the current system that was ushered in via referendum in 2017.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appears to have lost 1.8 percent of its support as more voters make up their minds, the pollster found.

However, the combined vote for the opposition including the CHP-led Nation Alliance still stands at 52.6 percent.