I’ve stressed this so many times before. When we ask in today’s polls “What party would you vote for if the election was today?” – It is a misleading question. It is misleading because of the many undecided factors of the next election. There are many parameters that are unknown.
There are a few parameters that we do know. We know that the next election will probably take place before the scheduled date, Tuesday November 5, 2019. We know that seven of the ten Faction leaders – Netanyahu, Lapid, Liberman, Kahlon, Bennett, Gal-On, Litzman – are expected to lead their lists into the next election. The misleading poll question is a great way to gauge short-term public opinion. However, to really answer the poll question we have to understand that there are many parameters that are unknown.
We don’t know when the elections will be. We don’t know who will win the Labor Primary Elections. We don’t know what the future of The Joint List holds. We don’t know what will happen in Shas. We don’t know if Gideon Saar will make a comeback. We don’t know what Gaby Ashkenazi or Benny Gantz will do. We don’t know what Knesset merges and splits are ahead of us. We don’t know if there will be another celebrity candidate that decides to create another ‘star party’. We don’t know how the lists of the Knesset parties will look like. There are many other parameters that can be added to this list.
Let’s examine a few of the various questions and options faction by faction:
What we know: Netanyahu ran unopposed and will lead Likud into the next general election.
What we don’t know: Will Likud run on a joint ticket with other parties, such as Kulanu, to ensure a Phase 1 victory?
What we know: There will be a Labor Party Leader primary before the next general election.
What we don’t know: Who wins the Labor primary? What happens with the Livni Party alliance? Who are the new additions?
What we know: The four major Arab parties passed the threshold because of the Joint List.
What we don’t know: Can they pull it off again?
What we know: Lapid will lead Yesh Atid into the next general election and will select his MK list.
What we don’t know: Will there be a joint ticket? Can Lapid add a big star like Ashkenazi or Gantz?
What we know: Kahlon likes the Finance Ministry and wants to stay there.
What we don’t know: Does Kahlon go with Likud or Yesh Atid?
What we know: Bennett is expected to lead the party into the next elections.
What we don’t know: Will Tekuma run with Bayit Yehudi or will they join a new right-wing alliance?
What we know: The Shas educational system produces at least 3 seats no matter what.
What we don’t know: Who will lead Shas into the next election? Deri, Cohen or Atias? Does Yishai run with someone else or perhaps returns to Shas as #2 to Atias?
What we know: Everything is about turnout for them.
What we don’t know: What turnout will be?
What we know: Liberman has real issues with Netanyahu.
What we don’t know: Will his party run as part of a larger alliance? Will he choose Netanyahu over the center-left candidate?
What we know: The threshold will be an issue for them in the next election, especially if people feel there is a real shot at defeating Netanyahu.
What we don’t know: How many people will vote Meretz because they can’t give their vote to someone else?
There are many undecided factors that need to be resolved before the next election. Polls are still important because they are the best tool we possess to measure the short-term public opinion picture. Many of the factors that need to be resolved before the next election will lean heavily on the data of these polls.
As we get closer many of these factors will be resolved and the picture will become more clear.