By Andrew Wilks
ISTANBUL (Al-Monitor) — With Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections less than six weeks away on May 14, public opinion polls are showing a tight contest between the two dominant candidates President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu.
Over the weekend one of Turkey’s most respected polling companies, MetroPoll, revealed that its March research on voters’ attitudes showed a slender 2.6 percent lead for Kiliçdaroglu, who heads the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the candidate of the Nation Alliance.
Results from MetroPoll’s research since the start of the year saw Kiliçdaroglu closing the gap. Support for Erdogan fell from 45.9 percent in January to 42 percent in March — a period that saw Turkey hit by devastating earthquakes, leading to criticism of the government’s response — while those backing Kiliçdaroglu rose from 43 percent to 44.6 percent.
However, further details show a more nuanced picture in the race between the two favorites.
Responding to the question of whether Kiliçdaroglu would win the May 14 race, which could go to a runoff two weeks later if no candidate receives more than half of the votes, 43 percent said he would win while nearly 50 percent said he would not.