75% of Palestinians favor elections

42% would vote for Haniyeh over Abbas; Barghouti would defeat Haniyeh.

abbas haniyeh big smiles (photo credit: AP [file])
abbas haniyeh big smiles
(photo credit: AP [file])
Seventy-five percent of Palestinians support holding early elections, according to a new poll published Thursday. The poll by the independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research was conducted during and after the Hamas military takeover of Gaza last week. It was conducted among 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of three percent. If new presidential elections were to be held, 49% would vote for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah movement, and 42% would vote for his political rival, deposed PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, the survey said. If jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti of Fatah were to run against Haniyeh, he would win 59% to Haniyeh's 35%, the poll said. A majority of Palestinians, 59%, said both Hamas and Fatah are equally to blame for the bitter factional fighting that led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza. Also, 70% said the chances of getting a Palestinian state in the next five years are dim.