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Battle of the Polls and Hallway Chatter

Israeli citizen casting a vote

Israeli citizen casting a vote
Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90

When two separate polls show different results, it usually produces interesting hallway chatter in the Knesset because in here, everyone is an analyst.

One argument that occurred was about how a Maariv poll could give the nationalist camp 62 seats when a Haaretz poll gave the nationalist camp between 72 and 74 seats. When the polls’ margins of error don’t explain the difference it usually leads to charges of vote tampering.

This time that argument came from Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni’s camp, which argued that there was no way a Haaretz poll could show that a Kadima led by Mofaz would capture more seats (12) than Livni (10), pointing to the Maariv poll where Livni (16) leads Mofaz (14). Mofaz’s camp argued that the Livni campaign must be in trouble if they are campaigning against Haaretz polls.

One thing is for certain: there will be more polls before the March 27th Kadima primary vote, and we will surely see who is right on March 28th.

The telephone poll below was carried out on March 4-6, 2012, for Maariv by Teleseker of a representative sample of 550 Israelis. Results were first published on NRG (Maariv’s website) on March 9, 2012.

Poll #1

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

27 [27] Likud 14 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 18 [08] Labor 14 [28] Kadima led by Mofaz 21 [23] Shas, Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ, National Union and Jewish Home 26 [19] Yair Lapid Party, Independence, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad

Poll #2

27 [27] Likud 14 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 17 [08] Labor 16 [28] Kadima led by Livni 21 [23] Shas, Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ, National Union and Jewish Home 25 [19] Yair Lapid Party, Independence, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad

The telephone poll carried out on March 4-5, 2012, for Haaretz by Dialogue of a representative sample of 497 Israelis, had a statistical error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. Partial results were published in Haaretz on March 8, 2012, and the rest were published the next day. The big winner is the nationalist camp, which scores between 71 and 74 seats. The big loser is Livni, who had a poor showing only a few weeks before her primary.

Poll #1

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

35 [27] Likud 15 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 14 [08] Labor 12 [28] Kadima led by Mofaz 09 [11] Shas 08 [---] Yair Lapid Party 07 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ 05 [07] National Union and Jewish Home 05 [03] Meretz 05 [04] Hadash 05 [07] Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad 00 [05] Independence

Poll #2

37 [27] Likud
16 [15] Yisrael Beitenu
14 [08] Labor
10 [28] Kadima led by Livni
09 [11] Shas
07 [---] Yair Lapid Party
07 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
05 [07] National Union and Jewish Home
05 [03] Meretz
05 [04] Hadash
05 [07] Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad
00 [05] Independence

About the Author: Jeremy Saltan is a frequent guest on various radio programs and and a veteran political analyst. He has run political campaigns in English and Hebrew for Israeli municipality, party institution, primary and general elections. Jeremy’s opinion pieces have been published, quoted or credited by Voice of America, Daily Beast, France 24, Washington Post, BBC, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Israel National News and the Jewish Press and more.


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