A TRNC poll has put the newly formed Halkın Partisi (HP – People’s Party) 10% ahead of its nearest political rival. Conducted by the Center for Migration, Identity and Rights Studies (CMIRS) and published in North Cyprus’ largest newspaper Kıbrıs Gazetesi on 3rd Feb., the poll of Turkish Cypriot voters shows there is more support for HP than the CTP-UBP coalition government combined, while President Akıncı’s party TDP party has less than 3% popular support.
The CMRIS, a think tank whose work involves measuring Turkish Cypriot happiness levels and perceptions on key social and political issues, interviewed 500 people in January. Among the questions they asked were their views on water being piped from Turkey and the current Cyprus talks. The findings were reported to the press by CMIRS Director Mine Yücel.
Of those polled, 74% are happy that water is coming from Turkey, but 76% do not want the private sector to manage it.
On the Cyprus Problem, while just under 80% are keen for a solution only 41% feel positive about the current round of talks.
When asked who they would vote for if there was a General Election the following Sunday, those surveyed said:
HP (People’s Party) 22.7%
UBP (National Unity Party) 12.63%
CTP (Republican Turkish Party) 10.49%
TDP (Social Democratic Party) 2.78%
DP (Democrat Party) 0.86%
YKP (New Cyprus Party) 0.43%
BKP (United Cyprus Party) 0.21%
Mixed party votes 7.92%
Not voting 28.69%.
Serdar Denktaş’s Democrat Party support base collapses
HP, launched at the start of this year by former TRNC Chief Negotiator Kudret Özersay, garnered the most support, securing a little under 23% – a ten point lead over their nearest rival. The new party has seemingly received backing from across the TRNC political spectrum, with all of the TRNC’s established parties experiencing a drop in their support base, especially the Democrats (DP).
According to the CMRIS poll, less than one percent of the TRNC public would vote for DP, led for the past two decades by former TRNC President Rauf Denktaş’s son Serdar. DP currently has 12 seats in Parliament, having secured 23.16% in the 2013 General Elections.
President Akıncı’s own party TDP also saw a major dip in political support. They polled less than 3%, down from 6.9% in the General Elections.
Those further left of TDP – YKP and BKP – who promote a united Cyprus and regularly condemn Turkey remain marginalised by the Turkish Cypriot electorate, with less than one percent combined support.
Main photo: Kudret Özersay, leader of new HP