|Tent City press conference 311.(Photo by: Ben Hartman)|
Poll: 'Social' party could win 20 seats in elections today
By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN
Political force capitalizing on tent-city sentiment would steal mandates from major parties, early election seen as unlikely.
A new socioeconomic party led by the current leaders of the housing protests
could win as many as 20 seats if elections were held now, a Smith Research poll
taken for The Jerusalem Post and the economic newspaper Globes found.
poll of 500 adults, representing a sample of the population, was conducted by
telephone on Monday and had a 4.5 percent margin of error.
defends gov't plans to address social grievances
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When only the
parties currently represented in the Knesset were given as choices, the results
were similar to the makeup of the current Knesset – except that Likud would win
one more mandate than Kadima, rather than Kadima’s present one-seat
But when a new socioeconomic party was included as a choice,
the new party captured seats from Kadima, Likud, Labor and Meretz, as well as
The new party did not take mandates away from Arab,
religious or right-wing parties, whose supporters have not endorsed the
The organizers of the protests have claimed from the beginning
that they were not political; but several parties have joined the demonstrations
and provided signs, and even tents.
Roee Neuman, a spokesman for the
protest movement, said the protest was non-partisan and that its leaders have no
intention of becoming a political party or running for office, but that
nonetheless, the results “show the widespread support our movement has across
all sectors of Israeli society.”
Former Shas leader Arye Deri and
journalist Yair Lapid are said to be mulling the creation of socioeconomic
parties ahead of the next election, and Labor is expected to move in that
direction, following its September 12 primary.
Asked whether the next
election will be advanced from its current date of October 22, 2013 due to the
protests and the expected United Nations General Assembly vote on a Palestinian
state next month, 50% said no, 29% said yes and 21% did not have an
Among Likud voters, 60% said the election would be held on time,
while 25% believed otherwise.
Even in Kadima the majority of those who
expressed an opinion said the election would be held on time.
about their economic views, 47% said they wanted more governmental intervention
in the economy and personal welfare, while 37% preferred to let market forces
take their course with minimal governmental intervention. Meanwhile, 16% did not
express an opinion.
The poll also provided insight into the public’s
attitudes toward the tent protest movement and how it feels the protesters
should go about achieving their goals.
Forty-five percent said the
protesters should negotiate with the government to try to obtain their demands,
29% said the demonstrations should go on in their current format, and 9% said
the protesters should become more political, try to bring down the government
and run for the next Knesset. Seventeen percent did not express an opinion, or
offered an opinion not on the list.
A majority of Likud voters said the
protesters should compromise, and a plurality of Kadima voters said the
demonstrators should keep on protesting.
Ben Hartman and Michael Omer-man
contributed to this report.