Kilicdaroglu faces ‘real uphill battle’ after Erdogan nearly clinched first-round win

·1-min read
© Ozan Kose, AFP

Recep Tayyip Erdogan surprised many observers yet again by nearly winning the Turkish presidential election in Sunday’s first round, defying the polls putting opposition challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu ahead. So the stage is set for the May 28 second round – but analysts say Kilicdaroglu’s route to victory is very narrow indeed.

Kilicdaroglu’s rallying cry in the final stretch said it all as far as the campaign was concerned. After bringing together six divergent parties under his banner, having established himself as Erdogan’s antithesis in both style and substance, Kilicdaroglu told his supporters to “finish it” in the first round.

But Erdogan very nearly finished it, winning 49.51 percent of the vote, compared to 44.8 percent for Kilicdaroglu.

In light of that, the challenger’s message for the second round was markedly different, as he told his supporters on Twitter on Monday: “Do not fall into despair”.

All of these factors are still at play as Erdogan goes for the extra 0.49 percent of the vote he needs to clinch re-election.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Sinan Ogan: The 'kingmaker' Turkey’s Erdogan doesn’t need
Turkey presidential poll set for May 28 runoff as Erdogan wins 49.51% of vote, Kilicdaroglu 44.88%
Unbeatable Erdogan? Turkey's president proves polls wrong with first-round lead