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Israel Election Polls 10.01.03 - Scandal hurts Sharon, doesn't help the left


Election Polls this week were affected by revelations of probable corruption in the Likud party. Information is partial, but problem after problem is turning up. Primaries controlled by underworld figures were a prelude. Now a questionable 'loan' to PM Sharon has sent Likud tumbling down to 27 seats versus 24 for labor in the Ha'aretz Poll.

However, most of the votes lost by Likud are going to other right-leaning parties. The ultra-orthodox Shas party is gaining, as is the Shinui party that favors Constitutional Law and religious freedom. This platform is apparently particularly irksome to Israeli newspaper commentators. They have mercilessly torn into Shinui and its head Tommy Lapid. It may not be related to the the worry that Shinui is causing the large parties - maybe it is good investigative journalism. But is it coincidence that these facts we read about Lapid and Shinui - all quite shocking - are being revealed only now. Somehow, I doubt it.

In any case, it does not seem that the scandal can produce a victory for the left. It may be forgotten or dormant by the time elections come around. The Attorney General will probably not pursue the case actively until after elections. Some polls and commentary are below.

Last update - 22:16 08/01/2003

Haaretz poll: Likud losing support, now stands to win 27 seats

By Haaretz Service

Following yet another week of scandal, this time involving the prime ministerial family, the Likud is continuing to lose support, according to the latest Haaretz / Dialogue poll, which puts the Likud on just 27 seats.

The poll, conducted under the supervision of Professor Camille Fox, also shows the Labor Party breaking through the 22-seat barrier for the first time, with 24 seats, and gives the next two largest parties, Shinui and Shas, 17 and 13 seats respectively.

The survey predicts the right-wing bloc losing three seats in total, garnering just 61. The left-wing bloc (Labor, Meretz and the Arab parties) stands to have 40 seats and the center bloc, including Shinui and One Nation will hold 19

The poll was conducted Tuesday night, the day on which Haaretz revealed the allegations of financial impropriety by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his two sons, Gilad and Omri, over loans they took to pay back illegal campaign contributions.

For the first time since the Knesset disbanded late last year and the election campaign began, senior Likud politicians are getting worried about losing power on January 28.

Various people in the Likud, including ministers, said Tuesday night that the Haaretz report could become a new snowball that could fatally roll over the Likud, stripping it of more votes.

Dialogue/Ha'aretz Poll Results

[MidEastWeb - % of refuse reply may be significant because there are usually more
right-wing and ultra-orthodox voters in that category. These results differen from
those published in Ha'aretz in English because the Yisrael B'aliya party is counted
as center in this version, rather than as 'right'. Comments in brackets and otherwise
are those of the translator, not MidEastWeb or Mewnews - unless otherwise noted]

Aaron Lerner Date: 9 January 2003

To Ha'aretz's discredit, this is the second week they join the rest of the
media and decline to report the percentage of respondents who fail to reveal
their choice of party. Last week when IMRA asked Ha'aretz they advised that
22% were in the "refuse reply" party.

There is absolutely no way for someone reading the poll results to know how
much confidence to give the figures. Statistical error refers to the
sampling error associated with the raw data - not the cooked figures
presented as neat results by Knesset seat . There is also no way to know
if the method for allocating these seats is consistent from week-to-week.

The following are the results of a Dialogue poll of a representative sample
of 521 adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) carried out on 27 December
2002 for Ha'aretz and published in Ha'aretz on 31 December. Survey error
+/- 4.3 percentage points. Results for the previous poll carried out 31
December 2002 appear in [brackets]..

Knesset seats:

Right/Religious Bloc: Total 58 - from 54 current Knesset [60]
Likud 27 [31] National Union/Ysrael Beiteinu 9 [7]
Shas 13 [11] NRP 4 [6]Yahadut Hatorah 5 [5]

"Center" Total 22 from 19 current Knesset [21]
Yisrael B'Aliya 3 [4] Shinui 17 [14] Am Echad 2 [3]

Left/Arabs: Total 40 from 47 current Knesset [39]
Labor/Meimad 24 [22] Meretz 8 [9]
Arab parties 8 [8] [includes Hadash]

What do you think Mitzna will do after the elections?
7% Form the next government
16.5% Join with Sharon
28.3% Head opposition
7.6% Leave political life by choice
11.8% be cast out of Labor
28.8% Don't know

If direct elections
Sharon 45.2% Mitzna 29.3% Neither 11.2
Blank Ballot 2.7% Don't know 7.7% Refuse reply 3.9%
[Ha'aretz 9 January 2003]

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

Friday Polls 10 January 2003

Aaron Lerner Date: 10 January 2003

+++ Dahaf/Yediot Ahronot

The following are the results of Dahaf polls carried out January 8, 2003.

Yediot Ahronot continues to declines to share with the readers how many
respondents refused to reveal how they intended to
vote and, in turn, how the "refuse reply" party seats were allocated among
the real parties.

It should be noted that while the results claim to be +/- 3.4 percentage
points that is the statistical error associated with the raw poll
results rather than the "processed" results in the Knesset seat table

Total population (including Israeli Arabs) sample of 653:
(results from week of 3 January in [brackets]

Knesset seats:

Right/Religious Bloc: Total 63- from 59 current Knesset [62.5]
Likud 28 [32] National Union/Ysrael Beiteinu 10.5 [8]
Shas 10.5 [9.5] NRP 5 [4] Yahadut Hatorah 5 [5]
Yisrael B'Aliya 4 [4]

"Center" Total 20.5 from 15 [17.5]
Shinui 17 [14] Am Echad 3.5 [3.5]

Left/Arabs: Total 36.5 from 47 current Knesset [37.5]
Labor/Meimad 21.5 [22] Meretz 7 [8]
Arab parties 8 [7.5] [includes Hadash]

"Other" Total 0 from 0 current Knesset [2]
Aleh Yarok 0 [2] (Aleh Yarok has added legalization of prostitution to its
platform to legalize marijuana)

[IMRA: The popular presentation of the Rabin dollar account in Washington is
that Yitzhak Rabin resigned when it was found that his wife had committed a
technical foreign currency violation when she inadvertently forgot to close
a small dollar account (Yitzhak Rabin claimed in "The Rabin Memoirs" that it
was $2,000) in a Washington bank from his days as Israel's ambassador to

As Justice Barak (Attorney General Aharon Barak at the time of the incident)
explained in an article written by Evelyn Gordon in The Jerusalem Post
(October 27, 1996), "after he had decided to press charges against Leah
Rabin, he was visited one day by then finance minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz.
Rabinowitz asked if it was true that Barak would be unable to press charges
if Rabinowitz levied an administrative fine on Rabin instead. Barak replied
that this was true, but that Rabinowitz had no authority to levy such a
fine: According to Treasury guidelines, administrative fines should be used
in place of criminal charges only if the violation was less than $5,000.
The Rabin bank account contained $20,000. Rabinowitz, according to Barak,
responded that that was irrelevant: The important consideration was that if
the case went to court, Labor would lose the next elections."

The account is believed to contain income from Rabin's public speaking
appearances in America. Investigation of this element of the incident was
not pursued after he resigned. ]

When Rabin's dollar account was discovered, he resigned from the premiership
and Peres took his place. Should Sharon resign and Netanyahu replace him?
Total: Yes 33% No 53%
Support Likud: Yes 11% No 79%
Undecided: Yes 38% No 48%

Do you think that Ariel Sharon knew about the loan that the South African
millionaire gave to his sons?
Total: Yes 61% No 16%
Support Likud: Yes 44% No 32%
Undecided: Yes 67% No 12%

Who is more trustworthy?
Total: Sharon 44% Mitzna 33% Neither 13%
Support Likud: Sharon 89% Mitzna 2% Neither 4%
Undecided: Sharon 32% Mitzna 33% Neither 12%

Yediot Ahronot, 9 January 2003 for party vote and 10 January for remainder

+++ Ma'ariv [results changed from Thursday paper]
The following are the results of a Ma'ariv poll by "New Wave" (a new polling
company formed by Yaacov Levy, the founder of the now defunct Gallup Israel)
carried out 8 January 2003:

Ma'ariv declines to share with the readers how many respondents refused to
reveal how they intended to vote and, in turn, how the "refuse reply" party
seats were allocated among the real parties.

Even MORE bizarre: The results published on Friday do not match the results
published the day before from the same survey. On Thursday, Ma'ariv report
that Shas had 12 seats - this dropped to 10 in the Friday paper.

Total population (including Israeli Arabs) sample of 1,000 sample error +/-
3 percentage points: [result from 1 January in [brackets]]

Knesset seats:

Right/Religious Bloc: Total 62- from 60 current Knesset [65]
Likud 30 [34] National Union/Ysrael Beiteinu 9 [9]
Shas 10 [9] NRP 4 [4] Yahadut Hatorah 5 [5] Herut 1 [0]
Yisrael B'Aliya 3 [4]

"Center" Total 16 from 13 current Knesset [14]
Shinui 14 [12] Am Echad 2 [2]
Different Israel 0 [0]

Left/Arabs: Total 41 from 47 current Knesset [40]
Labor/Meimad 22 [21] Meretz 8 [8]
Arab parties 11 [11] [includes Hadash -write up warns that this includes one
seat for Balad - 1.5% of vote is needed to pass the minimum threshold = 1.8

"Other" Total 1 from 0 current Knesset [1]
Aleh Yarok 1 [1] (Aleh Yarok has added legalization of prostitution to its
platform to legalize marijuana)

Are you satisfied with the performance of prime minister Ariel Sharon as
prime minister in general?
Yes 42% No 53% Don't know 5%

Is prime minister Ariel Sharon personally involved in corruption?
Yes 43% No 31% Don't know 26%

Is Omri Sharon involved in corruption?
Yes 57% No 13% Don't know 30%

[Mewnews - the loan was made when Sharon was not PM apparently.
It is against the law to make false statements as to origin of funds,
which was done in this case, and such loans are against guidelines
issued after the affair of Ezer Weizmann ]

Assuming it is not a violation of the law, is it proper that the prime
minister receive a loan of $1.5 million from a friend at a time that he
serves a prime minister?
Yes 38% No 51% Don't know 11%

There are those who claim that the media is trying to incriminate Ariel
Sharon so that he will lose the elections. Do you agree?
Yes 50% No 40% Don't know 10%

In light of the latest revelations, of corruption in the parties, should the
elections be held as scheduled or postponed so that the parties can choose
their representatives again?
Elections on time 55% Postpone 35% Don't know 10%

Which issue of the following concerns you the most lately:
Palestinian terror 47% Iraq 15% Corruption 17% All same 13%
Don't know 8%

Does Ariel Sharon have a solution to Palestinian terror?
Yes 26%No 64% Don't know 10%
Vote Likud: Yes 45% No 42%

Doe Amram Mitzna have a solution to Palestinian terrror?
Yes 22% No 63% Don't know 15%
Vote Labor: Yes 63% No 28%

Do you support the erection of a separation fence along the Green Line and
large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, in order to separate between
Israel and the Palestinians?
Yes 68% No 25% Don't know 7%

Is Ariel Sharon making all the efforts to erect a separation fence as
quickly as possible or delaying it due to political or ideological
Making all effort 20% Delaying 51% Don't know 29%

In reaction to the attack at the old Central Bus Station ion Tel Aviv, the
government decided to prevent a Palestinian delegation from leaving for
London to the summit on reforming the Palestinian Authority. Do you support
this move?
Yes 52% No 39% Don't know 9%

Does the State of Israel properly treat foreign workers in Israel?
Yes 35% No 47% Don't know 18%

Do you support the activities of the Israel Police expelling illegal workers
from the country?
Yes 67% No 23% Don't know 10%

Did you watch the campaign broadcasts on television?
Yes 37% No 63%
[Among undecided, 31% did]

Do the campaign broadcasts influence the vote?
Yes 35% No 59% Don't know 6%

Asked Arabs only: If Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara are disqualified from
running should Israeli Arabs boycott the elections [IMRA: They are running]
Yes 36% No 60% Don' know 4%

Ma'ariv 10 January 2003

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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Replies: 1 Comment

Shinui - why is a party that favors religious freedom & constitutional law considered right-wing? Are they right-wing on the peace process? What is their platform?


Posted by Karen @ 01/12/2003 04:58 PM CST

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