Forecasting Turkish local elections
The literature on political forecasting is large, although the main focus of this literature is limited to a number of countries. Nevertheless, and despite the major differences between political systems, scientific forecasting work has proved to be broadly possible, with noteworthy extensions to new countries. This article extends the literature further by developing a new forecasting model for local elections in Turkey. The basic motivation of this article is to test the usefulness of political forecasting in the contexts of alternative democratic settings. Turkey, in that sense, seems to be an interesting case for a number of reasons. First, the Turkish Republic has been a multi-party democracy since the mid-1940s. Although it has been interrupted by three military coups, the party and election system in Turkey has brought real alternations in the government starting from very early years of the multi-party system. So, it is plausible to argue that Turkish voters have the tradition of evaluating the performances of political parties, as in any other Western-type democracy. That is to say, the dynamics of evaluations of political parties in Turkey follow a similar pattern to other contemporary democracies, being driven by economic and political forces. The main contribution of this analysis is the introduction of an explicit model, which can forecast the impact of economic and political variables across local elections in Turkey by using reliable, public, and macro-level data. In particular, this study offers a new forecasting model which tries to forecast the Justice and Development Party’s (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) vote share in 81 cities.
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