Yes still ahead but watch out for Istanbul

The last Qriously poll published on JamesInTurkey.com retains a solid Yes lead, but the regional breakdown could generate surprises on Sunday

The last Qriously poll published on JamesInTurkey.com retains a solid Yes lead, but the regional breakdown could generate surprises on Sunday

Followers of the last two waves will not be surprised that Qriously again predicts a strong Yes result (which changes from last week): YES 44.1 (+0.6) NO 30.6 (-0.5) UNDECIDED 25.3 (-0.1). This translates into an expressed vote of YES 59.0 NO 41.0.

The high number of undecided respondents remains troubling. Qriously maintains that, in its past experience, undecided voters “tend to split roughly in the same proportion as the rest of the electorate”. But all the provisos listed in earlier posts still apply.

The headline result aside, there are some interesting geographical trends to report on.

The big city

The mantra of any Turkish election is to watch its largest city. Istanbul tends to vote as the country votes, so in a contest with a binary choice like this one it will be all the more significant to watch on Sunday night.

For the second week running, Qriously has found a narrow but definite lead for the No camp in Istanbul: YES 46.9 NO 53.1.

That’s a 12.9 percentage point shift from three weeks ago, when the city was solidly voting Yes.

It is significant that Qriously has found a No lead for the second week in row because Istanbul’s electorate is well over 10 million – a fifth of the whole country – and turnout was 88% at the last general election. A high turnout here could swing the result.

Perplexing southeast

Unlike Istanbul, there has been no change in the southeast. It appears to be voting a solid Yes – around the 71 percent mark – despite being home to Kurdish voters in large numbers.

Qriously also asked respondents what party they would support in a hypothetical parliamentary election and just 5% said they would vote for the pro-Kurdish HDP.

This tallies with other pollsters that have found a significant drop in the party’s level of support and would suggest – but only suggest, mind – that Kurdish voters will be voting Yes or not at all.

Urban No, rural Yes

The darkest green regions of the map correspond roughly to Turkey’s least urbanised, least populated regions.

There are exceptions like Konya, Gaziantep and Erzurum are solid Yes regions – but these are strongly associated with the governing AK Party, so it is unsurprising that they are above 80 percent.

Inner parts of western Anatolia like Manisa and Afyon and the Mediterranean coast have weaker Yes leads: it is no coincidence that these are where the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is electorally more competitive. Its voters are split on whether to back their party’s leadership.

The west and northwest, traditionally associated with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), are unsurprisingly strong with the No side.


Results tables

Some have asked to see the full results tables published by Qriously. You can download them by clicking here.

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  1. In a previous post, you say that Qriously polled Turkish-language smartphone users. Does this mean Kurdish-language smartphone users were excluded from the poll? If so, it’s possible that the southeastern results are affected by selection bias, assuming that Kurdish voters are likely to set their phones to Kurdish.

    1. Very good point. I was also going to point that the Istanbul forecast could be more accurate than the southeast and various rural regions given that Istanbul with its advanced urbanisation has a smartphone penetration rate much closer (or perhaps higher than maybe) to Western European countries where this company has operated, whereas the rural regions have lower rates than the average of Turkey. I know they’ll say “oh but we weigh and normalize” but there is no such thing as a perfect normalization and the more you stray from the actual distribution of variables the more your error rate (or likelihood of error) increases.

  2. The obvious bias is distributing the 25% “undecided” equally to yes and no camps while probably most of the “undecided” are nothing more than afraid no’ers. Don’t forget that the political atmosphere in Turkey -especially in the southeastern parts- is not friendly for a lot of people to declare their discontent with the course.

  3. You know nothing james snow. The east and southeast part of Turkey, also Mersin, Adana, Antalya, will say no. It is quite obvious. To create such a vote map requires to know nothing about politics and vote behaviour in Turkey if there is no manipulation intention. so your map makes me laugh so much. made my day.

  4. Michael, these are most interesting times but few realise the full extent that a yes vote will bring to not only the country but also the world. Dare i bring up the bible. Chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel is a graphic description of the march to the end. When you get to verse 40 it is dealing with end time events and verse 45 is the culmination. When you read the Books of Daniel with Revelation (one was sealed the other reveals) together you will see that there will rise not a nation but an ideology (in this case is Islam) with a united leader which, when the Bible is studied closely, may well be Turkey and quite possibly Erdoğan as the new caliph. There is much written on this subject but search for a book called the King of the North: Sons of Ishmael by Bill Pinto or the three part series on the King of the North published by Restitution Ministries on Vimeo. Both speak very clearly on Turkeys part to play and it will really open your eyes.

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