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One Down, Two More to Go: Electoral Trends in the Aftermath of the March 2014 Municipality Elections

The March 2014 local elections in Turkey did not drastically alter electoral balances in Turkey. The AK Party maintained its predominant position, despite loosing some electoral support. The opposition gained some support but not enough to challenge the incumbent party’s tenure. Despite apparent gains for the CHP, it appears that the most significant vote increase was obtained by the nationalist MHP. Yet, both opposition parties remain far from imposing a credible challenge to the AK Party in future elections. These results are likely to lure PM Erdoğan into running for president. Such a decision is likely to further polarize the country and result in negative electoral campaigns for the presidential elections.

One Down Two More to Go Electoral Trends in the
While electoral officers checking the signet “Yes” at a polling station. AA / Atılgan Özdil
 

Introduction

Elections are routinely seen as turning points in Turkey. The March 30, 2014 municipal elections were no different. All parties and civil society groups viewed these elections as turning points prior to and in the aftermath of the elections. However, few real turning points exist in Turkish electoral history. Nevertheless, a number of remarkable developments and new trends could be deduced from the results of the recent local elections.

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