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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Election 2007: timetable of events

Following on from yesterday's missive, a quick guide for when to expect what in Turkey's election today. Let's hope for a few surprises.

7am - voting begins in 32 eastern provinces, 8am in the west.
4pm - voting closes in the east, 5pm everywhere else. Counting begins soon after the queuing remainders have voted.
6pm - first results start trickling in to newswires and Twitter. Turkish TV wringing its hands showing lifestyle programming: no-one is allowed to report the results until the Electoral Commission lifts its election news ban.
Midnight - Scheduled end of Electoral Commission's ban on TV results coverage, allowing ample time to make sure every ballot box in the country is safely tucked away.
6.50pm - Around now, Turkish TV loses patience and switches to live coverage of Electoral Commission's front door. Reporters shout for permission to read out results that anyone with an internet connection has already seen.
7pm - Electoral Commission spontaneously announces every ballot box has been found, no-one is still voting in a remote village, and acquiesces: TV results coverage permitted.
7.01pm - Explosion of results. More than a quarter of all votes should have been counted by now; most will be from eastern provinces, where voting finished earlier. AK dominate in the northeast, so will have won most of the seats so far. The fate of the BDP independents should be clearer too. Watch out for Leyla Zana in Diyarbakır.
7.45pm - First substantial results from the west by now. If vote counting is as fast as it was in 2007, the networks should be calling the election for AK around now too. The size of their majority will depend on whether MHP has crossed the threshold.
8.30pm - Vote share for all three main parties should be roughly clear by now, unless the MHP really is on a knife-edge.
10pm - Final colour of Istanbul's 85 seats should be clear by now.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Golden Numbers of Election Night

Alas, James in Turkey will shirking its good name for this Sunday's election. The bright lights of other events around the same time have been enough a distraction to prevent travel to Turkey, or even to cover the vote from afar. Selections from this blog's coverage for the last time the country did this is still available, though.

By way of recompense for the radio silence around this election, however, allow me to offer the Golden Numbers of Election Night. This is your indispensable guide to the numbers to watch out for as the votes are counted, categorised by political party:

AK Party
Justice and Development Party, religious conservative, governing
276 - absolute majority: the number of seats AK need to govern alone for a third term.
330 - the number of seats needed to change the Turkish constitution, pending approval in a referendum
367 - supermajority: the number of seats needed to change the Turkish constitution without a referendum

Republican People's Party, centre-left, main opposition
21% - CHP's share of the national vote in 2007's general election
23% - CHP's share of the national vote in 2009's local elections
Anything above 25% would represent a significant improvement on CHP's previous performance, which had exploited a saturated secularist constituency.
Anything above 30% would be an excellent result, a victory for leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and possibly enough to prevent AK receiving an absolute majority.

Nationalist Action Party, right wing, opposition
10% - the national share of the vote MHP must cross to win any seats. Stay above, and they could win as many as 70 seats. Fall below, and even provinces the MHP is projected to win - like Mersin and Osmaniye - are likely to fall to AK, possibly helping the governing party towards a supermajority.

Peace and Democracy Party, pro-Kurdish, candidates running as independents
20 - the minimum number of seats required to form a group in parliament, receive additional funding, and be represented in parliamentary select committees
21 - the number of seats won by pro-Kurdish candidates at the last election
30 - the highest number of seats pro-Kurdish candidates could realistically win in this election, making them kingmakers in a parliament where AK falls short of one of its majorities