Thursday, December 1, 2011

Haaretz poll: Kadima party fighting for third or fourth place

The latest Haaretz poll conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University shows PM Netanyahu maintaining the lead and is well positioned to win a third term. If elections were held today the Likud party would be the largest party in the Knesset with 29 seats, Labor comes in second with 19 seats, and Kadima and lieberman are in a statistic tie for third place with 17 seats for each party.

As of PM Netanyahu's overall approval rating, 49% aresatisfied with the performance of Netanyahu as prime minister, while 40% disapprove his conduct as PM.

The poll also examined the public's attitudes toward a series of bills recently discussed by the Knesset which critics say would undermine the Supreme Court, human rights organizations and freedom of the press. The poll asked respondents whether they agreed with critics that the bills undermine democracy, or with proponents' claim that the bills are worthy legislation that give the majority the ability to govern. The gap here was narrower, but the critics still scored a clear victory: A plurality of 46 percent said the bills undermined democracy, compared to 37 percent who deemed them worthy legislation and 17 percent who said they didn't know.

A similar proportion, 45 percent, said they were unhappy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attitude toward the justice system and with the bills the coalition has proposed on this subject, compared to 39 percent who said they were satisfied with the premier's conduct on this issue. People's responses on this issue correlated closely with their responses to the question of whether they were satisfied with Netanyahu's job performance overall, Fuchs said.

Among those satisfied with his overall performance, 68 percent were satisfied with his attitude toward the justice system. Among those dissatisfied with his job performance, only 7 percent were satisfied with his attitude toward the justice system.

Asked about a bill that would sharply increase the maximum compensation in libel suits, respondents were split, with 46 percent supporting the bill and 48 percent opposed. Nevertheless, 43 percent said they thought Netanyahu was trying to reduce freedom of the press, compared to only 38 percent who said they did not believe that to be the case.