Turkish elections live

Coverage on Monday morning of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Also: an explanation of the BBC’s PNS for UK local elections.

Live Commentary

2:16pm With almost all ballot boxes “opened”, Erdogan leads KK by 49.3-45.0 with 5.2% for the far-right Ogan. If these results are correct, Erdogan is very likely to win the runoff in two weeks.

10:34am In the parliamentary election, with 93% of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan’s AKP and their far-right allies currently have 319 of the 600 seats, 18 more than the 301 needed for a majority.

10:17am With 97.1% of boxes opened, Erdogan leads by 49.4-44.9, with 5.3% for the far-right Ogan. Although there will be a runoff on May 28, Erdogan is very likely to win unless something drastically changes in the final counts.

8:48am It now appears that percentage of ballot boxes “opened” does not mean percentage “counted”.

7:56am Maybe there’s some funny business going on with the centre left Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (KK) saying Erdogan’s people are repeatedly objecting to bad ballot boxes for them, meaning those ballots are not being reported. Erdogan currently leads KK by 49.6-44.7 with 94.7% of boxes opened. The percentage of votes counted is likely to be well under 95% as the largest ballot boxes are likely the ones outstanding.

6:59am Monday Erdogan is very likely to win the presidential election. With 92% counted, he has 49.8% of the vote, his centre left opponent 44.4% and a far-right candidate 5.3%. Even if Erdogan remains under 50%, he will be assisted by votes from the far-right in the runoff on May 28.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Turkey holds presidential and parliamentary elections today with polls closing at midnight AEST. A presidential runoff will occur on May 28 if nobody wins a first round majority. In the parliamentary elections, a total of 600 seats are allocated by proportional representation with a 7% threshold. Parties can join alliances and avoid this threshold provided the alliance gets over 7%.

Most late polls have the social democratic Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu leading the right-wing incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for president by two to seven points in the first round, but some continue to have Erdoğan well ahead. I believe some polls have ties to Erdoğan. Of two minor candidates, one withdrew on Thursday though his name will still appear on the ballot paper. The other minor candidate is from the far-right, so his votes will favour Erdoğan if there is a runoff.

This article in The Guardian has more information on the Turkish elections, including poll closing times and the economy’s performance that highlights the high inflation.

UK: What is the BBC’s PNS?

Every May the UK holds council elections, but contests for the same seats are usually four years apart. Over a four-year cycle, a different set of council elections are held every May. Council elections are never national, and in some years they will be skewed to Labour, while in other years they will skew to the Conservatives.

The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS) was developed to correct for bias in each year’s council results. It converts council election results into national vote shares for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. This is useful for applying council election results to an election for the House of Commons, and it also allows council results from different years to be compared.

At the 2022 local elections, Labour won 3,072 councillors to just 1,403 for the Conservatives, but the PNS gave Labour just a 35-30 lead. Councils in Wales, Scotland and London were up for election that year, and these favour Labour over the Conservatives. In the 2023 local elections, which did not include Wales, Scotland or London, Labour won 2,675 councillors and the Conservatives 2,296. Despite the closer councillor count than in 2022, the PNS gave Labour a 35-26 lead over the Conservatives.

Since the May 4 local elections, Labour has extended its national poll lead over the Conservatives to about 19 points. But Labour underperformed its national polls at the locals; they had a national lead of about 17 points, but only won by nine on PNS.

The council elections are not quite complete this year, with Northern Ireland council elections on Thursday.

Greek election and the US debt limit: The 300 members of the Greek parliament will be elected by proportional representation with a 3% threshold on May 21. While the conservative New Democrats have a lead, they lack the allies needed to form government, so a left-wing government is likely if left parties can agree. There hasn’t been progress in the US on lifting the debt limit; with a default possible on June 1 without congressional action.

7 comments on “Turkish elections live”

  1. I have a very serious question:

    How often do British newsreaders break into uncontrollable childish giggling whenever they are reporting on the PNS?

  2. Interesting Twitter account for the Turkish election:


    The Anadolu Agency results show Erdogan ahead:



  3. Is Turkey compulsory voting or voluntary?

    Just thinking ahead that if there IS a run off and if Erdogan IS genuinely ahead and not just taking advantage of the order of vote reporting a la Trump 2020 to pretend he’s winning when he isn’t, what factors there may be to help the opposition get back into it (especially with those far right voters already there and more likely to move to Erdogan in a run off).

  4. At a rough count, there’s 2 million votes from open boxes left to count, plus a couple more from any unopened boxes that we have no evidence who they will favor and will therefore ignore. That’s based on last election turnout applied to current enrolments. It’s a big assumption and could be wrong.

    The uncounted votes from the open boxes will all be bad results for erdogan. They’re still uncounted because pro erdogan scrutineers are disputing them.

    Erdogan is ahead by 2.4 million votes. And I’d assume would expect to gain maybe 0.6 million more vote lead from a head to head rerun as the right wing person got many more votes.

    At best KK could see a 1.5 million boost from late counting, but that still puts him 1.5 mill behind in a rerun assuming no swing before the rerun and the same level of vote rigging/not as in the first round.

    It’s doable, I guess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *