18 October 2009


I came across this poll just out today. According to polling data; It states that if Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh were to run against PA President Mahmoud Abbas they would be tied in an election. Additionally they trusted Haniyeh MORE than they trusted Abbas. Now, I want to say something here, I don’t buy these numbers. In fact, I would be willing to bet that right now Haniyeh’s numbers are truly much greater than this poll shows. Here’s why; I base this on what took place in Ireland for a great many years. Where polls continually showed poor numbers for Sinn Fein, however, when it came time for elections it was another story all together and the huge numbers of votes did not correlate to the prior polling data. Many people were uncomfortable with stating publicly to an anonymous pollster that they supported Sinn Fein, a party who at the time supported the armed struggle in Ireland. So, there can be a flaw in such polls where in certain divided societies some may be unwilling to publicly state their support for a certain party for a number of reasons, not to mention the concern that the information could be collected and passed on for some “nefarious” reason. Therefore I’d bet that Haniyeh’s support would be much greater than the polls showing. Here is the poll:
Ramallah - The popularity of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declined sharply and he would run neck-and-neck with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh if presidential elections were held now, a poll released Sunday has found. Abbas would receive 16.8 per cent of the vote, to 16 per cent for Haniyeh, the poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) found.

Haniyeh was also the politician respondents trusted the most, scoring 14.2 per cent to Abbas' 12.1 per cent.

In the previous JMCC poll in June, Abbas' rating stood at 17.8 per cent In addition, a majority of respondents - 55.6 per cent - said they were "somewhat unsatisfied" or "very unsatisfied" with the way Abbas was performing as president, compared to 39.4 per cent who said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied."

Some 43.8 per cent said the PA was responsible for the deferring the vote, compared to 18.1 per cent who blamed the US and 17.2 per cent who blamed Israel. (no one blamed Hamas)

The drop in Abbas' popularity did not translate to his Fatah party, which would receive 40 per cent of the vote in elections, compared to 18.7 per cent for Haniyeh's Hamas.

The poll was conducted between October 7 to 11, and interviewed 1200 person in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The margin of error was given as 3 per cent.source