Date: 08 April 2014
Author: Alphan Kırayoğlu
Client: Self-published

Yet Another Election

I had two previous posts (in Turkish) regarding the local government elections in Turkey, mostly focusing on the results and possible irregularities in Ankara. This post takes another look at the results in Ankara and Istanbul.

Data: Data was obtained from since the official results have not been publish by the YSK. As the results are being updated, data may have changed since I scrapped it. I excluded the votes cast in prisons. For replication purposes, you can use the links to download the data sets.


Approach: Data set includes information such as number of registered voters, number of votes cast and number of invalid votes for buyuksehir (city) mayoral elections as well as ilce (district) mayoral elections at the ballot box level. It also includes the number of votes cast per political party for the buyuksehir mayoral elections.

Previous studies used various approaches to control for differences across districts and voting stations which may influence the share of invalid votes and the share of votes for a particular party simultaneously. Our assumption is that buyuksehir and ilce votes will be influenced by unobserved variables such as income, education or age at the ballot box level.

We will be using a 2-stage approach. First, we use the relationship between the buyuksehir and ilce elections and estimate the linear relationships below:
Buyuksehir % Invalid Votes = a + b*(Ilce % Invalid Votes) + u
Buyuksehir Turnout = c + d*(Ilce Turnout) + v

In the second stage, we regress the AKP vote share on the residuals from the first stage models and dummy variables for districts and voting stations. Standard errors are clustered. For Ankara, when we control at the ilce level coefficients for residuals from the first stage are positive and statistically significant for both turnout and invalid vote share models. The positive relationship remains, but the statistical significance disappears when we control at the voting station level. For Istanbul, invalid vote residuals have a positive and statistically significant relationship when controlled at both ilce and voting station level. However, turnout is not statistically significant. It is surprising to see that for both Ankara and Istanbul when the buyuksehir voting characteristics deviate from the predictions, we find statistically significant relationships where positive deviations indicate increase in AKP's vote share.