Turkish observers and voters alike were left confounded on May 14 after results showed Erdogan leading his rival by a healthy margin, despite most opinion polls having shown opposition leader Kilicdaroglu beating the incumbent by several percentage points.
Erdogan got 49.51 percent of the vote while Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), got 44.89 percent, forcing a run-off.
In a survey conducted on May 6-7, reputable pollster Konda had put support for Kilicdaroglu at 49.3 percent and 43.7 percent for the 69-year-old incumbent.
A face-to-face survey conducted May 10-11 of nearly 4,000 people by the Orc agency predicted an outright win in the first round for the CHP candidate with 51.7 percent support.
Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said opinion polls were not very reliable in Turkey in general.
“Before the election, many pollsters were criticised and accused of showing their affiliated party or leader ahead,” she said. “In a way, this [election] shows us pollsters are politicised … and they try to influence voters.”
Read more here.