With a third of the votes counted, Turkey’s governing party is comfortably home already
Striken by food poisoning, I’m seated in front of my television watching the results of Turkey’s 16th general election roll in. It makes exciting watching.
As of 7.15pm local time, around a third of all votes have been counted. Here are the major developments:
1 – The incumbent AK party has a 50.4 percent share of all votes counted so far. This means the government has crossed the 10% election threshold already.
2 – The main opposition CHP is leading in Turkey’s third largest city, Izmir, and in Izmir only. AK is very close behind.
3 – In a number of provinces in the southeast, including Diyarbakır, independent candidates are leading. The AK party is second. The provinces in the southeast are significant because most of the independent candidates are supported by the predominantly Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), in an attempt to bypass the threshold.
However, the sweep of independent candidates across the southeast is not universal. In some provinces, such as Mardin and Şırnak, the AK party has taken the lead.
4 – As it stands, most of these results are from Turkey’s eastern provinces, where polls closed an hour earlier. Barely a tenth of votes have been counted in Turkey’s three biggest cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
NTV’s exit poll predicts a 45 percent victory for the AK party, with the CHP on 20 percent and the nationalist MHP on 14 percent. With three parties crossing the threshold, this would reduce the number of seats presently held by the AK and the CHP, but AK would still be able to govern alone.
More comments soon.