Monday, January 7, 2013

Times of Israel LV poll: 31% Remain Undecided; Tzipi Livni is Toast

31 percent of likely voters, including 23% of right wing voters remain undecided, tow week before the Knesset election on Jan. 22, an exclusive and detailed poll conducted exclusively for The Times of Israel by TRI-Strategic Research (Dec.25-Jan. 2). 

The poll conducted by Stephan Miller, cited by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2008 as “James Carville’s protege, questioned a relatively large sample of 803 likely voters — as opposed to the Hebrew media’s norm of 500 eligible voters. 10% of the survey were conducted by cellphone, and another 10% were conducted in Arabic, which grants it more credibility. Hence, since it was done a week ago it may not take in count the recent developments over the weekend, which may result in undecided voters tilting towards Likud Beitenu on the right and Labor - Yesh Atid on the left. 

The poll shows the Likud-Beitenu joint list at 34 seats after the undecideds have been factored in on a proportionate basis, Shelly Yechimovich’s Labor Party rising to 21,the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home)  at 15, Yesh Atid at 11 projected seats and a falling Hatnu'a party under Tzipi Livni with only 5 seats.

Deeper analysis of the survey’s findings suggest that the undecideds may not ultimately divide proportionately, and that a slightly greater proportion of them are wavering between the various center-left and left-wing parties, rather than between the various right-wing parties. 

Respondents were asked for whom they would vote if elections were held today. 31% of Likely (37 seats) said that they have yet to decide. Another 5% said they would vote for parties that did not come close to clearing the 2% Knesset threshold — including Am Shalem, Otzma L'Yisrael and Kadima.

Key Findings:

-38% of respondents self-identified as right-wing, compared to 36% center and 16% left. 

-39% of the right intends to vote Likud-Beitenu and 18% to vote Jewish Home (with the rest divided among Shas, United Torah Judaism, and other smaller parties). 

-23% of right-wing voters are undecided — the equivalent of 10 seats. 

-59% of Likely voters who voted for Likud in 2009 intend to vote  for Likud-Beitenu and 10% for Jewish Home, 20% remain undecided.

-32% of those who voted for Yisrael Beytenu in 2009 intend to vote for Likud-Beitenu. 36% remain undecided, 12% vote Labor, 8% vote Jewish Home and 8% vote Yesh Atid.

-40% of centerist voters remain undecided (approximately 14% of likely voters, or 17 Knesset seats).

-Among centrist voters who have made up their minds, twice as many vote Labor as do Likud-Beitenu.

-Twice as many centrists support Likud-Beitenu as do Hatnu'a.

-Only 6% of voters who view Tzipi Livni favorably intend to vote for her Hatnu'a party.

-Only 3 respondents out of 803 (0.4%) surveyed said they would vote for Kadima.

-Kadima’s 28 seats in the Knesset are divided today, with 41% of these voters undecided..Labor receives 21% of former Kadima voters, Yesh Atid receives 13%, Hatnu'a gets 10% and Likud-Beitenu 9%.

-Netanyahu and Yechimovich have almost identical likability ratings among undecided voters.

- Among undecided voters, 35% view the country as heading in the correct direction while 48% view it as heading in the wrong direction. 

-11% of undecided voters say they have never heard of Naftali Bennett and a whopping 30% say they do not know whether they have a positive or negative view of him.

- 34% of undecided voters say Netanyahu is doing an excellent or good job while 60% say he is
-Undecided voters are more likely to self-identify as Ashkenazi Jews, rather than Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews. This is similar to the make-up of Labor’s voters, and very different from the make-up of Likud-Beitenu’s voters.

The TRI survey questioned a relatively large sample of 803 likely voters — as opposed to the Hebrew media’s norm of 500 eligible voters. Of those 803, also in contrast to the Hebrew media norm, 10% of our surveys were conducted to cellphones, and another 10% were conducted in Arabic. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%, with a confidence level of 95%.

Stephan Miller, cited by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2008 as “James Carville’s protege,” is an American-Israeli public opinion research analyst and communications strategist, and a former adviser to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has worked on campaigns in eight countries across three continents.