President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would have been defeated by each of three potential presidential candidates — all members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) –- among his rivals if a presidential election were to be held in late May, local media reported on Friday, citing the results of a survey conducted by the Eurasia Public Research Center (AKAM).
The results of the poll, which was conducted in telephone interviews with 1,500 participants in 26 provinces between May 26 and June 1, were announced by AKAM President Kemal Özkiraz on Twitter on Friday.
The results showed ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Erdoğan being defeated by each of his potential rivals – CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, both also from the CHP — in a possible presidential election scenario in which one of them is running against the incumbent president.
According to the survey, when Erdoğan is pitted against CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu would receive 39.1 percent and 51.5 percent, respectively, with undecided votes distributed between the two.
In the scenario in which İstanbul Mayor İmamoğlu runs for president against Erdoğan, İmamoğlu would defeat Erdoğan by nearly a 14-point margin, with Erdoğan garnering 39.2 percent and İmamoğlu receiving 53 percent of the vote.
Ankara Mayor Yavaş, too, defeats Erdoğan hands down as 38.3 percent of respondents said they would vote for Erdoğan, while 51.7 percent opted for Yavaş, resulting in a more than a 13-point difference in favor of Yavaş.
When respondents were asked the open-ended question “Which party will you vote for?” 30.7 percent said they would vote for the main opposition CHP, followed by the ruling AKP (29.5 percent), the İYİ (Good) Party (13 percent), the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) (9.2 percent), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) (5.4 percent), the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) (4.8 percent), the Future Party (GP) (1.8 percent), the Victory Party (ZP) (1.6 percent), the Felicity Party (SP) (1.1 percent), the New Welfare Party (YRP) (1.1 percent), the Democrat Party (DP) (0.4 percent) and other parties (1.4 percent), with undecided votes distributed among the parties.
In the last general election held in June 2018, the AKP garnered a nationwide vote of 42.6 percent. However, public surveys have increasingly been showing the party’s public support to be slipping.
Erdoğan, whose ruling AKP has been in power as a single-party government since 2002, was elected president in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. His election in 2018 was under a presidential system as Turkey switched from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance with a public referendum in 2017.
Under the presidential system, Erdoğan is accused by critics of establishing one-man rule in the country, engaging in massive corruption and using the state’s resources for the benefit of his family and cronies while the Turkish people are overwhelmed by the increasing cost of living caused by the depreciation of the Turkish lira and a record level of inflation at around 73.5 percent.