A survey conducted by Turkey’s prominent pollster Metropoll in April reveals a tiny gap between the potential votes of the opposition’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the incumbent president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the presidential candidate of the six-party National Alliance, will receive 42.6% of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections, according to survey results released by Özer Sencar, the president of Metropoll.
Erdoğan, who has expanded the ruling People’s Alliance by including new right-wing and Islamist parties to boost his support, falls behind Kılıçdaroğlu, receiving 41.1% of the votes in the survey.
There are two other presidential candidates who will compete in the 14 May polls.
Muharrem İnce, a presidential candidate who stood against Erdoğan for the CHP in 2018, is seen by many as having the potential to spoil the hopes of the opposition of declaring victory in the coming election and winning the presidential seat in the first round.
İnce, who left the CHP and established Homeland Party (Memleket Partisi), has increased his votes significantly in recent weeks, particularly attracting young voters and protest voters.
According to Metropoll’s results, İnce’s votes are currently at 5%. The pollster also asked İnce’s voters who they will vote for if İnce withdraws from the election. In response, 30.5% said they would vote for Kılıçdaroğlu, 23.4% said they would vote for Erdoğan, and 16.5% said they would cast a protest vote, without naming another candidate.
In addition, some 24% of İnce voters would choose the fourth presidential candidate Sinan Oğan, who was nominated by the Ata Alliance, named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The alliance is led by the far-right Victory Party (Zafer Party) known for its firm anti-refugee position.
If İnce remains in the presidential race, Oğan will receive 2.2% of the vote, according to Metropoll’s results.
The survey, carried out among 2,610 respondents from 28 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, indicate that Turkey’s new president will be decided in a second round of presidential elections, to be held two weeks after 14 May if none of the candidates achieves a simple majority in the first round.
Metropoll’s survey also reveal that the number of undecided voters, which is usually very high in Turkey, dropped to 4.4%in April.