Livni campaign questions pollster’s integrity

Dialog found Mofaz would bring Kadima more seats.

MKs call Kadima members 390 (photo credit: Courtesy)
MKs call Kadima members 390
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The company that takes polls for Haaretz called the wrong man.
When workers for Dialog were taking a poll paid for by Kadima leadership candidate Avi Dichter this week, they called opposition leader Tzipi Livni's spokesman, Gil Messing.
After Messing found out that Dialog was taking money from Dichter, he was not surprised when Haaretz’s poll published on Thursday was the worst ever for Livni. The survey found for the first time that Livni would not bring the party the most votes in the next general election.
The poll predicted that under the leadership of MK Shaul Mofaz, Kadima would win 12 seats and under Livni only 10, both way below Livni's achievement of 28 seats in the last election in February 2009.
Messing questioned the integrity of the pollster, Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University.
“If Dialog gets money from Dichter then it obviously has an impact,” he said. “The media should be responsible enough to tell the public that their pollsters are working for candidates. I think there is a problem with a poll that reflects the opposite of the trend, goes against all other polls, and helps out someone who gives the pollster money.”
Messing noted that the last question the caller asked was whether respondents would back Mofaz if Dichter left the race and endorsed him. He said this was proof that Mofaz and Dichter had already joined forces in an effort to defeat Livni.
Livni and the MKs who support her came together at her Tel Aviv campaign headquarters on Thursday's Purim holiday to call Kadima members and ask for their votes. Livni told reporters that their calls mattered a lot more than Dialog’s.
“This is the real poll that you see now,” she said. “Everyone wants to come vote for me. The goal is not to win in the surveys but to reach people, get them off the fence and bring them home to our side. I am confident Kadima members want me to stay at the helm of the party.”
Dialog responded to the Livni campaign's charges that there was no connection between the two polls.
The Haaretz poll found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had reached a new peak in popularity. If an election were held now, his Likud Party would win 35 to 37 seats, Kadima 10 to 12, and former journalist Yair Lapid’s as yet unformed party only seven seats.
The Center-Right bloc, which currently controls 65 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, would win 71 or 74 seats, depending on who leads Kadima.