Skip to main content

How Turkey's pollsters missed the mark on election predictions

There are several reasons why all the major polling agencies performed so dismally in predicting the results of Turkey's Nov. 1 elections.
An election official holds a ballot during a count at a polling station in Diyarbakir, Turkey November 1, 2015. Turks went to the polls in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday under the shadow of mounting internal bloodshed and economic worries, a vote that could determine the trajectory of the polarised country and of President Tayyip Erdogan. The vote is the second in five months, after the AK Party founded by Erdogan lost in June the single-party governing majority it has enjoyed since first coming to

Add another group to the list of losers in Turkey's general elections: polling companies.

Turkey has provided fertile ground for pollsters, with four elections in less than two years. There are a dozen reputable companies that conduct periodic polls in different parts of the country. Most of these companies published frequent surveys about the snap elections on Nov. 1. Although the majority of them predicted a few points' gain for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), none were able to predict the AKP’s 8.5% rise. The closest prediction came from Gur's A&G Research, which showed the AKP at 47.2%, but the actual results fell outside A&G’s own 1.5% margin of error. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.