Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Election poll: 30% still undecided

Although there are only two weeks to go till the elections, the feeling that many Israelis have not yet decided who to vote for proved accurate. Polls conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute this week revealed that some 20 Knesset seats remain undecided at this point.

According to the surveys, 14%-16% of the public stated that they have not yet decided who would get their vote on February 10, while more than 30% said that their current choice was not final and could still change in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, some 20% stressed that they planned to make the decision only the day before the elections, or on election day itself.

Undecided voters were predominately secular, more of them women than men and were generally more inclined to vote for centric or leftist parties, with a high voting potential for Kadima or Labor.

Former Minister Uzi Baram attributed this high rate of undecided voters to the lack of trust in the political system. "When the level of trust drops, the motivation to vote decreases as well, because people say... what difference could my vote possibly make.

"The public's alienation from the political system is profound, and not entirely unjustified. There is the question of corruption, and the question of images. The media is no less responsible for the politicians' image than they are," he added.

Prof. Ephraim Yaar from the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University said that the recent war in Gaza had greatly affected undecided voters. "I believe that the public hasn't yet fully digested the implications of the war in Gaza, and this introduced a new parameter to the conflict and enhanced voters' confusion.

"Moreover, because of the war, the elections have been pushed to the margins of public consciousness and voters are only now gradually getting into the atmosphere of elections," he added.

BR note:usually the undecided voters break for the one that leads in the polls,and the one that runs against the incumbent,while a few percent fall away because the decide to stay home,most voters that make up their mind in the last minute intend not to waist their vote and go after the trend,and vote for the party that has the best chance to win.