Support for Turkey’s ruling party falls to 30 percent: Poll

Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has plummeted to 30 percent according to the latest opinion poll.

The T24 news website reported on Wednesday that the opinion poll by the Ankara-based company ORC Research, Education and Counseling surveyed a total of 3,620 people from 38 different provinces between September 6 and 9.

According to the results of the survey, if a possible general election held now, the ruling AKP government would receive 30.6 percent of votes, while the main opposition secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) would follow closely with 26.5 percent vote share.

In the latest general elections held in Turkey in June 2018, AKP’s vote share was 42.6 while CHP could get only 22.6 percent of the votes as the main opposition.

The poll results also indicated that AKP’s main ally the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would garner 14.2 percent and pro-Kurdish opposition (HDP) would get 8.1 percent.

The survey also included questions about the two different parties that are expected to be formed later this year by former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and ex-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu from the AKP to challenge Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

As many as 11.6 percent of those surveyed expressed the opinion that they would cast their votes for Babacan’s new party, while 8.5 percent of them said they would support Davutoglu in a possible general election in Turkey.

The governing AKP witnessed the biggest defeat of Erdogan’s political career in the recent March 31 local elections, when the party lost five largest provinces, including the capital Ankara and the commercial hub Istanbul, to the main opposition CHP.

Ekrem Imamoglu, CHP’s candidate for the mayoral race in Istanbul, received 54 percent of the votes against AKP’s Binali Yildirim, who is Turkey’s former prime minister, during the Istanbul election rerun on June 23.

The mayoral elections in Istanbul were repeated after Imamoglu narrowly won the race in March and officials from the ruling AKP objected to the results and appealed to Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) with a demand of re-run due to alleged voting irregularities.

A recent survey by another Ankara-based pollster MetroPOLL revealed that Erdogan’s approval rating declined from 53.1 percent last year to 44 percent.

Some of the reasons behind the drop in popular support for Erdogan is Turkey’s going economic crisis starting in 2018 that has seen the lira on a downward spiral against the U.S. dollar, financial experts and analysts say.

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