What will determine the June 23 mayoral election results in Istanbul? - MEHMET ACET

What will determine the June 23 mayoral election results in Istanbul?

In my column published on May 13, I had shared certain data based on a report prepared by polling neighborhoods in Istanbul, and said it reflects – due to its characteristics – a “detailed tomography” of Istanbul voters.

Recalling what happened on March 31, while seeking an answer to what may happen on June 23, still constitutes the most valid reference point of the matter.

The following are examples of what happened in Istanbul on March 31:

-In comparison to the June 24, 2018 elections, there was a visible decline in the votes (about 3/4/5 percent) that went to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in neighborhoods inhabited predominantly by people originally from the Black Sea region.

-In neighborhoods inhabited predominantly by people originally from the Kastamonu province, whose population in Istanbul is high, as well as neighborhoods inhabited predominantly by people originally from Ordu, Trabzon, et cetera (all provinces in the Black Sea region), there were those who displayed a different attitude that would directly affect the results, in a manner diverging from the previous election.

-The “drilling operation” conducted by targeting neighborhoods inhabited predominantly by Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) voters showed that more than 80 percent of this party’s voters supported the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu.

-The AK Party again received a high vote rate in neighborhoods inhabited predominantly by conservative Kurdish voters, however, it was ascertained that about 4 percent of the electorate in this category did not go to the ballot boxes to cast their votes.

Taking a look at Istanbul’s demographics, you can guess that the factions we mentioned make up more than half of the total population or total voters.

Under these circumstances, it will become easier to understand how determining deviations of 3, 4 or 5 percent in votes are.

A rise in voter turnout will be to AK Party’s advantage

In a post I shared a day before the March 31 elections, I said, “Election results in Istanbul depend on the voter turnout. If participation is high, the AK Party will win; if it is low, the CHP will win.”

The voter turnout remained at 83.8 percent in the March 31 elections. Yet in the presidential and parliamentary elections held on June 24, 2018, the participation rate was at 87.9 percent.

In other words, the rate of those who cast their votes on March 31 dropped 4.1 percent.

When we compare the voter turnout based on figures instead of rates, we see that about 440,000 voters who voted in the June 2018 elections did not vote on March 31.

A total of 1.705 million voters in Istanbul did not vote.

This is a high number, but about three-quarters of this faction never votes in any election.

Hence, it would be more beneficial to take a closer look at the group that did not go to the ballot box on March 31 despite voting in the previous election among the respondents of our "Who will you vote for on June 23?" poll.

The majority of those who did not vote between the two elections consist of AK Party voters.

There is a general consensus regarding the significance of this statement.

This means, the rule that applied for March 31 will apply for June 23 as well.

In other words, if the participation rate increases, it will be to the advantage of AK Party candidate Binali Yıldırım, if not, it will be to the advantage of CHP candidate İmamoğlu.

Who will benefit from the victimization mentality?

Who will benefit from the scrapping and renewal of the elections?

Everybody spilled their beans and said whatever had to be said following Turkey’s Supreme Election Council’s (YSK) decision.

Those who claimed that this decision is unlawful are saying that this situation is creating an atmosphere in favor of the CHP and its candidate.

Yet meanwhile, the results that changed in favor of Yıldırım as they were “counted” happened in front of everybody’s eyes.

When only 9 percent of the votes placed in Istanbul had been counted, the difference between the two candidates’ votes dropped from about 28,000 to 13,729.

Since this is the case, would the question, “What would have happened had the remaining 91 percent of the ballots were counted?” remain as a question plaguing our minds?

İmamoğlu could not give a convincing answer to why the margin decreased as the votes were counted.

When he was asked this question, he gave an abstract and unclear answer by saying, “It is the mistake of those behind the computers.”

The journalist who asked the question was attacked on social media by İmamoğlu’s supporters – just as another journalist, who asked a question to the CHP candidate concerning the Tunceli discussions, was.


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