New Turkish Party Could Cost Erdogan Support

New Turkish Party Could Cost Erdogan SupportNew Turkish Party Could Cost Erdogan Support

A new Turkish political party founded by a former minister and vocal critic of Tayyip Erdogan could cost the president crucial support and potentially unseat the main opposition, a poll suggested on Wednesday.

The survey by prominent polling firm Gezici showed that the Iyi Parti (“Good Party”), founded this month by the breakaway nationalist lawmaker Meral Aksener, could mark a dramatic shift in Turkish politics, eclipsing the secular CHP that dominated Turkish politics for much of the republic’s history, Reuters reported.

While only five members of the 550-seat parliament have joined Aksener’s party, the survey suggested it could win over voters from several parties, including Erdogan’s AK Party as well as secular or nationalist groups.

Although Turkey’s next elections are not due until 2019, pollster Gezici asked 4,638 respondents how they would vote in the event of a snap election.

Support for Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, which has been in power since 2002, would fall to 43.8%, from 49.5% in the November 2015 parliamentary polls, the survey showed.

Aksener’s party would win 19.5% of the vote, beating the secularist People’s Republican Party’s (CHP) 18.5%, it showed. That would mark the first time in decades that the CHP —established by Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk— was neither in government nor the main opposition.

The CHP won 25% of votes in 2015.

The nationalist MHP, where Aksener previously served as a lawmaker and interior minister, and the pro-Kurdish HDP were both seen falling below the 10% threshold needed to enter the 550-seat parliament.

The MHP was seen polling at 8.8%, from 11.9 in 2015. The HDP, whose leaders have been jailed in the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup, was seen taking 7.0%, from 10.8 in 2015.

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