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Friday, May 04, 2012

Surprise: Most Israelis want elections in November 2013 just like they were supposed to be

A TNS poll shows that a clear majority of Israelis don't want elections until November 2013.
Telephone poll of a representative sample of 452 adult Israeli Jews carried out by TNS for Marriv on 1 May published today.

Who of the following is most appropriate to be prime minister?
Netanyahu 63.5% Mofaz 16.3% Neither 16.6%
Netanyahu 62.0% Shelley Yichimovitz 22.8% Neither 12.1%
Netanyahu 70.6% Lieberman 9.5% Neither 18.1%

In the wake of the advancement of the elections what should happen?
27.2% Hold elections as quickly as possible
15.6% In a year 15.6%
52.0% Have as originally planned - November 2013
05.2% Don't know

What confidence do you have in the security-state leadership of PM Netanyahu and DM Barak?
High 33.7% So-so 33.6%
Low 9.5% Very low 12.8%
Don’t know 0.8%

Do the remarks of the former Shabak head Yuval Diskin regarding the lack of trust in Barak and Netanyahu concern you?
Very much 23.9% Considerably 29.6%
Not so much 20.1% Not at all 24.8%
Don't know 1.5%

In the wake of the remarks of Diskin it is claimed that "he caused damage to the struggle against Iranian nukes." Do you agree?
A lot 23.8% Considerably 24.5%
Not so much 21.2% Not at all 24.3%
Don’t know 6.2%

On August 1 the Tal Law will end, that give a waiver for army service for yeshiva students. What should be done now?
48.9% Enact law of drafting everyone including yeshiva students and Arabs to
the IDF or national service without any compromise.
21.6% Law that increases the number serving from ultra-orthodox and Arabs
17.6% Continue status quo
10.0% Don't draft ultra-orthodox and Arabs at all
1.9% Don’t know
Given that most MK's aren't interested in having elections either, why are we having elections? Here are a few reasons:

1. Netanyahu is hedging his bets against an Obama reelection. Right now, Obama cannot send anyone to Israel to help beat Bibi; he needs all the consultants for himself. If elections were held in 2013 and Obama were still President, he could double down to try to beat Netanyahu.

2. The polls now are very much in Netanyahu's favor. No one knows what will happen down the road.

3. Netanyahu was not going to attack Iran before September anyway, but he will have a new government in place before November 6 if he feels an attack on Iran is necessary.

4. Until now, the coalition has behaved itself. But with Avigdor Lieberman threatening 'my way or the highway' regarding the Tal Law, Netanyahu has decided he wants to weaken Lieberman. Note that in the poll (first link) Yisrael Beiteinu is dropping from 18 seats to 12.

5. If there are no elections, the government would have to come up with a solution to the Tal Law dilemma by August 1, After that, elections would probably happen anyway. This way, Netanyahu makes the Tal Law solution part of the government formation negotiations, and is able to remain in power after the reform is enacted.

By the way, I don't buy the Knesset numbers in the poll. I think that a lot of religious voters are going to come back to the religious parties (instead of, for example, voting Likud) once they realize what the implications of a replacement for the Tal Law are. And that includes National Religious voters who may suddenly find that the Lieberman's and Lapid's of the world want the Hesder boys to do a full three years in the army rather than fifteen months as part of a five-year stay in yeshiva as is the case today.

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