Simulation for Istanbul  local election: CHP/Imamoglu likely to win under most scenarios

A vast majority of recent polls conducted for Istanbul mayoral elections show incumbent Imamoglu leading his AKP challenger Murat Kurum, by 1-4% margins.  However the results will depend on whether AKP’s rival New Welfare Party fields a candidate and whether pro-Kurdish rights DEM nominates Mrs Basak Demirtas, the spouse of beloved Kurdish leader Salaheddin Demirtas.

According to first simulation  conducted for Istanbul covering these scenarios, Imamoğlu is ahead of the Kurum, even if the DEM Party nominates a candidate. Kurum  is seen catching up with Imamoğlu in the option where only Başak Demirtaş is a candidate and the New Welfare Party does not nominate a candidate.

While time is running out for local elections to be held in March 2024; not all candidates for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality have been determined. The New Welfare Party (YRP) and DEM Party announced that they would nominate candidates in Istanbul, complicating the race. According to polling companies, the current mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu is mostly ahead.


Public opinion researcher Ulaş Tol shared Core Research’s Istanbul Metropolitan Election survey with four alternatives according to the stance of the DEM Party and YRP.

According to the survey, Imamoğlu is ahead of Kurum even if the DEM Party nominates a candidate.


The simulation reveals that Imamoğlu is ahead in all of the options in which the DEM Party nominates a low-profile candidate or the YRP nominates any candidate. In the option where DEM nominates Başak Demirtaş BUT YRP does compete, helping AKP votes, Kurum catches Imamoğlu with 42.8 percent.

According to the survey results, if DEM Party nominates a low-profile candidate and YRP does not nominate a candidate, Imamoğlu gets 45.9 percent of the votes and Kurum gets 42.8 percent.

If DEM Party nominates a low-profile candidate (that is anyone but Basak Demirtas) and YRP nominates a candidate, Imamoğlu’s vote rate drops to 45.4 percent with Kurum dropping to 39.3 percent.

If DEM Party’s candidate is Başak Demirtaş, not a low-profile candidate, and YRP nominates a candidate, Imamoğlu reaches 42.3 percent, with Kurum lagging behind at  39.3 percent. However, if Başak Demirtaş becomes a candidate and YRP does not nominate a candidate; Kurum  catches up with Imamoğlu with 42.8 votes.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.