Likud supporters dissatisfied with coalition agreements with haredi party, poll finds

Survey conducted by Smith Polling Institute finds that 52% of respondents say deal with UTJ included too many concessions.

The Knesset  (photo credit: REUTERS)
The Knesset
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A poll conducted for the Hiddush religious pluralism lobbying group shows Likud voters as displeased with the coalition agreement the party signed with the haredi political party United Torah Judaism.
The poll was conducted among a sample of 500 people on May 4, 2015, after the agreement with UTJ was signed and made public.
The deal between UTJ and the Likud includes promises to make significant budgetary increases for haredi yeshivot; remove criteria that made qualification for housing aid dependent on being employed (or seeking employment); scrap the obligatory requirement for haredi yeshiva students to serve in the IDF; and repeal a law designed to liberalize and increase access to conversion courts.
The poll, conducted by the Smith Polling Institute, found that 52 percent of the respondents said the agreement with UTJ includes too many concessions and 24% who said there are a lot of concessions, compared to 17% who said the agreement is balanced and 7% who said it is unfair to the haredi party.
Broken down according to level of religiosity, 83% of non-haredi respondents said they believe the agreement includes “too many” or “many” concessions to UTJ, 13% said it is balanced and 4% said there are not enough concessions.
Strikingly, when broken down according to political affiliation, Likud voters are strongly critical of the agreement.
Some 74% of Likud voters said the deal includes “too many” or “many” concessions to UTJ, 22% said it is balanced and 4% said there are not enough concessions.
Alongside dissatisfied Likud voters were those who cast their votes for the Likud’s non-haredi coalition partners, with 76% of Kulanu voters believing there are “too many” or “many” concessions to UTJ and 66% of Bayit Yehudi voters.
Ninety percent of Yisrael Beytenu voters agreed with them, as did nearly all of Zionist Union, Yesh Atid and Meretz supporters.
When asked whether the coalition agreement with UTJ would draw people closer to Judaism or distance them, 27% said it would severely distance people, 29% said it would somewhat distance people, 7% said it would moderately draw people closer and 4% said it would greatly draw people closer. Some 33% said it would neither draw people closer nor distance them from Judaism.
In the same survey, respondents were also polled as to their preference for marriage options in Israel, and the results indicate a drop in the popularity of Orthodox marriage.
When asked which marriage framework they would choose to marry in, or which they would like for their children, assuming all frameworks are legally available, 51% of respondents indicated they prefer Orthodox marriage, 17% said they would choose Conservative or Reform marriage, 28% said they would opt for civil marriage, and 4% said they prefer a life partnership arrangement without formal marriage.
These results show a decline in preference for Orthodox marriage from a 2013 poll, in which 61% of respondents said they favor it, as compared to 51% in 2015, while support for Conservative or Reform marriage increased from 13% in 2013 to 17% in 2015.
Preference for civil marriage is also on the increase, up from 21% in 2013 to 28% in 2015.
Hiddush director Reform Rabbi Uri Regev said that the results of the poll demonstrate that the broader public is opposed to what he described as the “destructive sale of the values and budgets of the state in order to purchase control [of the country] from the haredi parties.
“The public knows that the coalition agreements are a conscious wound to equality in the share of the military burden, the national effort to get haredi men into work and the vital goal of getting the haredi education system to teach core curriculum subjects,” said Regev.
A request for comment by The Jerusalem Post to the Likud party spokesman was unanswered.