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New opinion poll on the T/C ''elections''
2003-09-08 17:38:05

Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (06.09.03) reports that a public opinion survey that KADEM [Cyprus Social Research and Educational Counseling Center] carried out on 26-31 August for the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce has revealed that 52.1 percent of the voters support the peace forces.

Taking the lead with a big difference in the opinion survey are the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the Joint Forces, the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) and the Solution and EU Party (SEUP). The three parties decided to cooperate, to join forces and act together to do away with the status quo so as to lead Cyprus toward a solution and the EU.

The KADEM surveyors met face-to-face with 1,585 people in 67 villages and town quarters. Some 52.1 percent of the voters said they would vote for the peace forces, pledging to bring about a solution and EU membership. The peace forces are expected to jump further ahead as the elections draw closer.

Only three months to the elections, the 1,585 persons were picked for the public opinion survey in such a way as to represent a cross section of the total electorate.

The people were asked in the course of the survey how much importance they attached to the elections, for which party they planned to vote and, if they were still undecided, to which party they thought they were close.

Percentage of votes received by the parties

The results of the survey show that the RTP-Joint Forces, led by Mehmet Ali Talat, emerged as the leading party with 30.6 percent.

The National Unity Party (NUP), senior partner in the coalition, led by Dr. Dervis Eroglu, ranked second with 22.9 percent. The Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), led by Mustafa Akinci, got the third place with 15.1 percent.

The Democratic Party (DP), junior partner in the coalition ?government?, led by Serdar Denktas, ranked fourth with 9.1 percent. The Solution and EU Party (SEUP), led by Ali Erel, received 6.4 percent. The Justice and Peace Party (JPP), led by Dr. Ertugrul Hasipoglu, got 0.8 percent, which is below the 5.0 percent election threshold. The Nationalist Justice Party (NJP), led by Ali Riza Gorgun, too got 0.8 percent, and the Cyprus Justice Party (CJP), led by Oguz Kalelioglu, 0.2 percent.

Some 7.6 mixed votes

Of those interviewed, some 7.6 percent said they would vote for a mixed list of candidates.

When asked for which party they would vote in the elections, some 6.3 percent responded: "No idea/no reply."

Some 15.2 percent undecided votes

In the KADEM survey, completed at the end of August, some 15.2 percent of those interviewed said they had not yet decided for which party they would vote. In order to get an idea as to how the 15.2 percent of undecided votes would reflect on the ratio of the votes the political parties would win, the voters were asked: "If you are undecided as to which party you would vote for, can you name the party to which you feel close? The ratios figured out from the responses given to this question were proportionately divided among the parties in order to arrive at the final percentages.

The ratio of the voters who have not yet made a firm decision, but appear to be close to a given party totals 8.9 percent. The total percentage of the votes of the parties was figured out after distributing the 8.9 percent proportionately.

Importance of the ?elections?

The voters were also asked questions about the importance of the elections to be held in December. The overwhelming majority of the voters are united in the view that the December 2003 ?parliamentary elections? are of vital importance. Some 68.4 percent said, "the elections are of vital importance," while 15.6 percent described the elections as "somewhat important." Those viewing the elections as "not important" totaled 4.0 percent, and those who said, "the elections are of no importance at all" totaled 10.7 percent.

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