The ballot box election results in the mayoral elections were
completely different from those that the polls predicted.
According to the results from last Tuesday's mayoral election
in Jerusalem, released by the Municipality of Jerusalem and
based on a count of all of the ballot boxes:
Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky of United Torah Judaism polled 51.78
percent (89,269 votes), winning the election by a wide
margin. The runner up, Nir Barkat, an independent, received
42.59 percent (73,418 votes), while the Likud Party
candidate, Yigal Amedi garnered 3.24 percent (5,593
Three other independent candidates won one percent of the
Lupoliansky's party won nine seats (43,097 votes - 24
percent) on the 31-member city council seats, Barkat's party
garnered six seats (29,201), followed by Shas with five
(25,525). The National Religious Party won four
seats(17,038), Meretz won three(14,560), the Likud two
(8,102) and two went to Shinui (10,166). Parties got a seat
for each 4,764 votes.
UTJ, Shas and NRP together have 18 seats, constituting a
comfortable majority. However, it is probably that some of
the other parties will be included in the coalition.
Other parties that did not pass the minimum threshold
included Labor (4,103 votes), Chaim Miller's party (2,823),
and Tekuma (2,809). Other parties got the rest of the
The total number of valid votes cast for the city council was
175,991. A total of 180,312 voted out of 480,275 eligible
voters (37.54 percent).
For mayor, a total of 180,317 voted out of 480,275 eligible
voters (37.54 percent).
According to the polls, Lupoliansky and Barkat were running
very close, with a slight advantage to Rabbi Lupoliansky. One
poll put them at 34-33 percent, and another had them both at
41 percent. Soon after the polls closed there was celebrating
at the UTJ headquarters, but Barkat supporters were quoted as
saying that the celebrations were premature since Barkat's
chances were better in a runoff election. A runoff election
is necessary if no candidate gets at least 40 percent of the
The results were a clear victory for Rabbi Lupoliansky, who
garnered an absolute majority of the votes cast. A gap of
almost 10 percent in the votes is relatively huge. The polls
claim that they have a margin of error of four percent, but
the results were way beyond those margins.
There were no dramatic developments in the last few days
before the elections. Generally the campaign was dignified
and relatively sedate.
There are a number of possible explanations for the skewed
polls. Some observers assert that there is a worldwide bias
in polls towards the Left of about 4 percent. If that is
added to the 4 percent margin of error, it almost
covers the gap.
Some maintain that the chareidi public is difficult to poll.
The pollsters do not understand the chareidi people and may
not properly choose a representative sample. Also, the
chareidi people do not respect the pollsters' efforts and
often deliberately mislead them for one reason or another.