Monday, January 21, 2013

BibiFeed's Prediction of the 2013 Knesset Election Outcome

My Prediction is based on poll data, statistical errors, trends and the parties capabilities of carrying out a grand GOTV effort. Since, those who publish the polls do not release the entire polling data or cross-tabs for the public, it's more difficult to breakdown the vote effectively, but i will use my judgement and ny knowledge following and covering the entire elections season.

First, if you look at a wide range of polls since November 2012,the right-wing bloc which includes Likud-Yisrael Beitenu-Bayit Yehudi-Ichud Leumi has consistently moved at around the range of 50 seats. 49 in 2009 (Likud 27, Yisrael Beytenu 15, Bayit Yehudi 3, Ichud Leumi 4), 32 in 2006 (take note that at least 16 seats for Kadima came from Likud), and 53 in 2003 (take in count Sharon's popularity getting the centrist vote. The last time The Knesset party lists included many center-right parties, was in 1999 when Netanyahu ran for the first time for reelection, in which Likud received only 19 seats, with Shas garnering at least 40% of its support from traditional Likud voters, and the rest of the 19 seats splitting between Yisrael Baliya, Yisrael Beytenu, Ichud Leumi and Mafdal.

Since the start of December 2012, the Likud Beitenu and the Bayit Yehudi were at 49 seats combined. When Bennett rose, Likud lost steam. Netanyahu's last pitch is aimed at the undecided or those who plan voting for potential partners in the Netanyahu government, which might add him additional support, or at least bring out his base, without biting off Bennett's base of support.

Since mid December, 75% of Likud Beitenu voters were consistently certain with their vote, compared to only 50-60% of Bayit Yehudi voters who were most certain not to change their mind (you can serch the blog for all the polls and date we gathered). While the merge between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu may have not resulted the intentions of it's unity, it is certain to asses that more than 40% of Avigdor Lieberman's 2009 support shifted over to Bennett. Since, in 2009 Lieberman was viewed as the only right-wing alternative leader to Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, other than bringing home traditional Mafdal/National Religious voters home (which accumulates to 9 seats), has now  overtaken that role as the right alternative to Netanyahu. So it's fair to say that at least 6 seats have shifted from Lieberman over to Bennett, while the Likud has basically maintained it's 2009 support, more of less, especially following the 3 week long campaign message of a Strong Likud.

Therefore, taking Bennett's rise in account and Likud Beitenu's support as viewed in the latest round of the polls, not taking in account last minute surprises or a sudden flock of voters from side to side, it is fair to predict that the Likud Beitenu joint list would receive 36-37 seats, and the Bayit Yehudi 13-14 seats.

Between Shas, UTJ and Otzma L'Yisrael, the rest of the Right-Wing/Religious vote would get 18-19 seats, granting the Right-Wing/Religious bloc a majority of 68-69 seats. 

On the other side of the aisle, excluding 11 projected seats for the three Arab parties (Hadash, Balad and Raam Tal),  the only two parties gaining steam are Lapid's Yesh Atid and Meretz.

Labor's support has diminished since Shelly Yechimovich had mistakenly tapped herself to the role of a premier candidate, losing at least 15% of her support to the Meretz from her left, and an additional 20% to Tzipi Livni from the center, while Yair Lapid has managed to slowly climb up as the only rational center oriented party that is fairly viewed as representing the middle class seeking solutions. 

Kadima's rise from the dead won't result in a dramatic surprise, yet might be one of the only small parties getting the necessary threshold of entering the Knesset, but of course on the expense of Livni. If Kadima manages to get 3 seats, Tzipi Livni's Hatnu'a party, that has been in decline over the past month, would get around 5 seats. 

Meretz Party which has benefited from Yechimovich's dance around the center-left, is projected to get 5 seats, leaving the rest of the center-left vote to split between Labor and Yesh Atid. If we take in count, Lapid's momentum and Labor's traditional base of support, it is fair to predict that Labor will get 15-16 seats, while Yesh Atid, the real surprise of the elections, with 12-13 seats.

Overall Prediction, if pressed to the wall:

Likud Beitenu 36
Labor 15
Bayit Yehudi 14
Yesh Atid 13
Shas 11
Hatnu'a 5
Meretz 5
Kadima 3
Strong Israel 2
Arab Parties 11