Turkey’s National Election is expected to go into a second “runoff” vote as both, current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, have failed to achieve the threshold of 50% of the vote required for an outright win. With almost all the ballots counted, sitting President Erdogan, aged 69, is just shy of the 50 % votes. Meanwhile, Kilicdaroglu, who was projected to win by the opinion polls, has received about 45% of the votes. The runoff vote will take place on May 28.

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Erdogan has stated that he would respect the nation’s mandate if the elections head to runoff, however mentioning, “We have surpassed our closest competitor by 2.6 million votes in the elections.” “We expect this figure to increase with official results,” he added. Erdogan had received about 60% of the votes in the 2018 polls.

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As the results came in, opposition candidate 74-year-old Kilicdaroglu reminded his supporters that “data is still coming in,” while also chiding Erdogan for sounding triumphant as he spoke to his own supporters, and warned that “elections are not won on the balcony!”

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“If our nation says second round, we will absolutely win in the second round,” Kilicdaroglu said, expressing confidence in his chances for the runoff. “The will for change in the society is higher than 50 percent.”

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The Supreme Electoral Board, which oversees elections in Turkey, declared that it was giving rival political parties results “instantly” and would make the results known after the count was finished and finalised. The state-run news agency Anadolu is responsible for the unofficial tallies.

According to the board, the majority of the 3.4 million abroad ballots from eligible voters still remained to be counted. A run-off on May 28 was mentioned as being uncertain.