Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Sivan 5763 - June 11, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Jerusalem Election Results Confound the Polls
by M Plaut

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 votes).

Three other independent candidates won one percent of the vote apiece.

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 votes.

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 votes cast.

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.


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