We were in Yozgat on Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, with whom we had suhoor (the morning meal of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan) with, told us an anecdote that occurred prior to the November 1 elections.
Let’s remember those days before going on with the anecdote:
The June 7 elections were held; the Justice and Development (AK) Party lost the opportunity to form a government alone; the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which saw this as an opportunity, launched trench terrorism to carry the Syrian Rojava Project to Turkey.
Bombs exploded in the east of the country, and blind terror made people afraid to go out on the streets. The question and a little fear regarding the results of the November 1 elections were prevalent.
In such an atmosphere, a bearded old man approached Bozdağ, who was praying in the Hacı Veyizzade Mosque in Konya. The old man said, ‘’Don’t worry, you will have 317 seats in parliament,’’ and went away.
Of course, when it was seen that AK party's seats distribution really was 317 in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Bozdag's mind was blown away.
‘’The other day,’’ continued Mr. Bozdağ:
"Somebody came up again, said that we would have 327 seats on June 24, and left."
“If this comes true…,’’ he paused a bit.
I interrupted him and said, ‘’ If this comes true, then the real miracle is you.’’
We exchanged a smile.
The latest from public opinion polls
There were bilateral surprises in all the elections that I had closely followed. One being the defeated, the other being the victorious.
For instance, in the July 2007 elections, except for one, all surveys showed AK Party gaining approximately 43 percent and below of votes.
The outcome was 46,6 percent.
Let’s take a look at recent elections that were in June and November.
On June 7, the surprise outcome of the ballot box was the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with 13.1 percent of votes, which no research could predict.
On November 1, once again, AK Party returned to 50 percent with a result that no researcher had predicted.
I don’t say this so that we should distrust public opinion polls. We also know that those who do the job by the book and act with proper methods can provide valid estimations to the tee. We, too, talk to people who take their job seriously and mostly get through election estimations with accurate results.
Meral Akşener will be the disappointment of the elections
I would like to share the results of a researcher, who doesn’t clearly state that “This will be the results of the elections,” due to him being busy with his final poll in which 10,000 people participated, but someone who says, “I conduct polls every day, someone who I know stays true to scientific methods in his research, and someone that stands at equal distance to all parties.
Tayyip Erdoğan: 52 percent
Muharrem İnce: 28 percent
Selahattin Demirtaş: 9 percent
Meral Akşener: 7 percent
A significant part of surveys predict that the presidential elections will be over in the first round, however, we cannot say that "there is a surprise" in the data for the part that related to President Erdogan. The same can be said for the part about HDP’s presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş.
There is a point that I can place in the category of surprise by looking at previous polls, which is the increasing votes of Muharrem Ince, but, on the other hand, the drop in Meral Akşener’s votes.
The researcher I spoke with asserted by saying, ''The disappointment of this election will be Akşener.'' We shouldn’t be surprised if she gets 4 or 5 percent of the votes.
If you pay attention, the increase in the number of Muharrem İnce’s votes is directly parallel to the fall in Akşener's votes. In other words, while Ince collects the votes that would go to Akşener, she fell into a decline with the voters she had lost to İnce.
It leads us back to the argument that we supported from the beginning. What did we say?
There is concentration of 35 to 38 percent of votes that Muharrem İnce and Meral Akşener can collect.
This amount of votes can be exchanged between these two candidates in favor of one and against the other, but it doesn't seem likely that these two candidates will gain the votes of the remaining 63 to 65 percent of the population.
The reason my claim doesn't rely upon the idea that voters act on a fixed mindset. On the contrary, there are millions who change governments by changing their party preferences as if they agreed on it unknowingly but secretly.
Everybody can find out the reason why İnce and Akşener share the same group of voters by thinking it over just a little bit.