Poll: Palestinians prefer Barghouti over Abbas

Jailed Fatah leader would defeat Abbas, Haniyeh in PA presidential elections; poll finds 55% support a two-state solution.

April 1, 2013 18:51
1 minute read.
Marwan Barghouti

marwan barghouti REUTERS 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti would defeat Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in  presidential elections, a public opinion poll published on Monday showed.

Conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, the poll covered 1,270 Palestinians and has a margin of error of 3%.

The poll also indicated a decline in the popularity of Hamas and Haniyeh as opposed to a rise in the popularity of Abbas and Fatah.

According to the poll, if new presidential elections were held today and only two were nominated, Abbas would receive 52% of the vote, while Haniyeh would get only 41%.

Three months ago, Abbas received the support of 45%, while Haniyeh got 44%.

The only candidate who is capable of defeating both Abbas and Haniyeh is Barghouti, who is serving five-life terms in prison for his role in anti-Israel terror activities.

The poll showed that if Barghouti ran today against Haniyeh, he would receive the support of 60% of voters as opposed to 33% for the latter.

If presidential elections were between three - Abbas, Barghouti and Haniyeh, the jailed Fatah leader would receive the largest percentage [38%] followed by Haniyeh [31%] and Abbas [26%].

If new parliamentary elections were held today, Fatah would win 41% of the votes as opposed to 29% for Hamas, the survey found.

On political issues, the poll found that 55% of Palestinians support a two-state solution, while 44% are opposed to the idea.

About 60% of Palestinians said they believe that Israel's long-term goal is to expand its borders to include all territories between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel their Palestinian population.

The poll also indicated that Palestinians are more worried about poverty, unemployment and the lack of national unity than "occupation and settlement activities."

Asked about US President Barack Obama's recent visit to the region, more than half of the Palestinians [55%] said they do not believe the US Administration would succeed in reviving the peace process. Moreover, 70% believe that the US would not succeed in pressuring Israel to freeze settlement construction.

About 30% of respondents said that their feelings for Obama have changed for the worse following his visit.

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