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Pollsters Blew it Big Time in Israel Elections

The question being asked in Israel on Wednesday, 27 Adar is just how all the professional pollsters failed to predict the Likud victory. Despite the technology and their insistence they constantly polled a cross-section of eligible voters, not any of the agencies in any of the polls predicted a Likud victory close to 30 seats.

The failure to come close to the outcome places doubt on the validity of the polls and if the expense involved in polling voters weekly is justified.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

11 Responses

  1. known fact the pollsters are leftists.they blew up the mitgam big time. there’s no reason why they said that according to exit polls herzog has 27 when in fact he had 24 at the end. How did they get a number like that other than lie? to perhaps hype up the left.

  2. 1. The pollsters probably did okay for non-hareidi Ashkenazim. It’s the rest of the population they have trouble with. Their sampling breaks down, and some the media have a secular left bias, that affects how people answer the poll.

    2. Their questions reflect an Anglo-American “first past the post system”, not a proportional system where in effect a candidate is running against those with small differences in ideolgy (e.g. Shas was running primarily against Yachad, Likud and Kulanu, but not against Mertetz, Yesh Atid or the Arab block).

    3. Likud’s win was from supporters of other right wing parties switching to Likud, largely to preclude Herzog winning (and his supporters were claiming they were about to win). The polls did reasonably well at predicting the right-left split, but now how the right/religious voters would be distributed.

  3. Israeli polls, both pre-election polls and even exit polls, have historically always been way off the mark. Nothing new this year.

  4. I don’t think that the pollsters were wrong. Pollsters ask a very simple – which party will you vote for if the elections were held today. It doesnt take into account the dynamics of the process. What did happen was that the people realized that the center – left party of Herzog could only form a government with extreme leftists – Yesh Atid, Meretz, and the Arab parties. This shook up the Israelis on the right to forgo casting their votes for Bayit Yehudi and Yachad to whom they might have been more idealogically attached to and go straight to Likud in order to avoid a disastrous coalition – one that would have made Obama proud.

  5. Likud not only reversed expectations of upset, but earned the Israeli equivalent of a landslide. The win might be attributable to a Likud panic at the results of the final few polls published five days prior to the election that showed a 4-seat lead for the Zionist Camp. The final few days saw a dramatic attempt by the Prime Minister to reach out to Israelis.

    They included several interviews, including three to English-speaking news outlets. He pressed one point hard: without a heavy Likud, there would be a certain danger of a national unity government or worse, a left-wing government.

    That message likely resonated with American voters, says Director of Likud Anglos, Daniel Tauber. Those Americans are more used to a system with two heavily anchored right- and left-wing parties.

    “Larger parties appeal to English-speakers. With Likud, we’re a national party that is not restricted to one or another specific demographic group.”

    That might be especially true of what Mr. Tauber perceives as a more conservative Anglo Jewish community in Israel.

    “I believe that we vote a little more to the right, but not necessarily always for Likud. Naftali Bennett definitely has attraction among Anglos because of his American parents


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