Local elections become referendum on PM
The local elections which take place today in Turkey have become a confidence vote in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
If the AKP get around 50% of the vote then all the scandal of corruption, leaked tapes and the autocratic style of the prime minister will have counted for nothing. If they get above 40% then they will have survived and Erdoğan’s plans to stand for President on 10th August will look unchanged. Anything less than 30% for the AKP and it will be seen as a humiliating defeat for the prime minister.
Pollsters are suggesting that the conservative vote will turn out in force for the AKP and give them about 45% of the vote. Analysts predict that the 6.5 million new voters will test the government over its anti-social media policies.
There are 52,695,831 eligible voters of whom 6.4 million are new voters and they will be voting in 177,044 polling stations. Because of the spread of times zones in Turkey, voters in the east will vote from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and voters in the west will vote from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time.