Start-up nation takes on election numbers in 'data-thon'

Data analysts find new parties disrupt accuracy of polls; immigrants in last 25 years are three times more likely to be right-wing than rest of population.

By
February 23, 2015 16:53
2 minute read.
Israeli elections

An Israeli flag is seen in the background as a man casts his ballot for the parliamentary election. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Polls become more accurate the closer they are to Election Day, according to results of the first-ever Israeli election “datathon” obtained by The Jerusalem Post Sunday.

One of the factors making election polls as notoriously inaccurate as they are is new parties, one team found; but polls become more accurate as Election Day nears.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In a related finding, another team analyzed the success of new parties and compared them to current polls, to predict Koolanu’s seats in the next Knesset. They estimated that the party will have between eight and 10 MKs.

In last week’s polls, the party averaged 8.1.

Sisense, a company whose technology analyzes and visualizes massive amounts of data, hosted a data-thon Friday, in which a group of analysts, engineers, data finders and other tech professionals formed teams to review and cross-section demographic data, voting patterns, social media and other publicly available information to come up with insights on the upcoming election.

The data-thon was inspired by “hackathons,” events in which developers spend hours trying to solve a problem, answer a question or come up with new ideas.

One team, from the Hamidgam polling app, found most voters who support Koolanu, previously voted the Likud and Yesh Atid, as did most Likud voters.



Another team found that immigrants who came to Israel after 1990 are three times more likely than the rest of the population to vote for the Right than the Left; and people who live over 50 km. away from Tel Aviv are twice as likely to vote for the Right than the Left.

However, another team found, towns near the Gaza border tend to vote for the Left, and the North is more right wing than the South.

The winning team in the data-thon were Technion students Omri Dor and Danny Rasin, who used an algorithm to segment voters into demographic groups and associated them with the party for which they were most likely to vote, by comparing results of the 2013 election with Central Bureau of Statistics data, which gave them details about the demographic makeup of the voters in each polling place.

Their data showed that if there had been a 100 percent voter turnout in 2013, the results of the election would have been much different, with the Likud gaining eight seats, the three Arab parties gaining six and United Torah Judaism losing five and Yesh Atid going down by three.

Related Content

Gideon Sa'ar
March 24, 2015
Sa'ar says national unity government is 'still on the table'

By JPOST.COM STAFF