Three parties risk falling below Turkey’s electoral threshold - pollster

Three Turkish parties are at risk of falling below the 10 percent electoral threshold and losing their places in parliament at the next elections, according to the head of polling firm Konda.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and nationalist Good Party, which are all currently represented in the Turkish parliament, are all below or close to the 10 percent threshold necessary for taking up seats in parliament, independent news platform T24 quoted Konda head Bekir Ağırdır as saying.

“If we’re going to talk about the threshold problem, the Good Party, the MHP and the HDP all have it,” Ağırdır said. “But despite all the HDP’s weaknesses they are more likely to overcome the threshold than the Good Party or the MHP.”

This, he said, was because of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) alienation of Kurdish voters that began with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hostility towards the Kurdish defence of the Syrian city of Kobani.

“There has been a turning point among the Kurds when we consider the HDP vote,” Ağırdır said. “The more conservative ones who say ‘I am Muslim’ before they say ‘I am Kurdish’ and those closer to the system have adopted the Kurdish party with the Kobani process. If my analysis is correct, it will not be that easy to win them back.”

Ağırdır called assumptions that an old-fashioned right-wing party would be the best way to challenge the AKP “laziness”.

“We need new information and we need to rethink,” he said. “A centre party or the concepts of right and left have no meaning today. Our intelligentsia do not want to change, to change their thinking or to do any (intellectual) labour.”