Opinion poll: 58.2% will say ‘no’ in Turkey’s constitutional referendum

According to Gezici Research’s latest poll, 58.2% of voters will opt to say ‘no in April when the referendum is expected to be held.

The poll asked respondents what their preference would be on “the constitutional reform package that foresees an extension of presidential powers known publicly as the ‘Presidential System’?” to which 58.2% said they would say ‘no’ with 41.2% saying they would opt for ‘yes’.

According to the poll, of those that said they voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) – the proposers of the reform package – in the June 7 general election last year, 77.3% would back the proposal voting ‘yes’ while 22.7% said they would vote ‘no’.

This number fell drastically from among the voters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who backed the AKP’s proposal in parliament with only 31.3% saying they would vote ‘yes’.

The voters of the two parliamentary opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party and the Peoples’ Democratic Party, who oppose the constitutional reform package overwhelmingly support their parties’ line with only 5% of its voters saying they would go against their party’s stance and vote ‘yes’.

Commentators believe that the referendum will be decided on how much each party can convince and mobilise its own supporters in accordance with its stance on the constitutional reform package. While the AKP and MHP’s combined vote from the last general elections amount to just over 61%, polls are suggesting that considerably more dissidents exist among the bases of these two parties than that of the CHP and the HDP.

Opinion polling in Turkey is somewhat of a contentious and partisan issue with statisticians coming up with wildly varying figures prior to elections. Navigating among the figures given by both ‘pro-government’ and ‘opposition’ polling companies requires a certain degree of expertise and scepticism.