Poll: Economic Issues Top Security Ones for Voters

A poll taken on behalf of the Labor Party indicates that voters are more concerned with economic issues than they are with security issues.

David Lev,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

A poll taken on behalf of the Labor Party, released Tuesday, indicates that Israelis are much more concerned with economic and social issues in the current elections than they are with security issues. If the poll is correct, it would be the first national election campaign in decades that did not focus on security issues – and provide a boost to Labor, which is focusing its campaign largely on social-economic issues.

The poll showed that 57% of Israelis were more concerned with social-economic issues than security issues, as opposed to 28% who will vote based on security matters. Fifty-two percent of respondents said that as far as they were concerned, the high cost of living was the number one issue they were concerned with. In a question verifying the voters' stance, 48% of respondents said that on election day they would be chiefly considering social-economic issues, while 35% said that security would matter most.

The poll did not ask voters to indicate which party they would vote for, but in one question, it was assumed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would continue to lead the country. Seventy-one percent of respondent said that they hoped to see someone in government who would “challenge” Netanyahu on economic matters in order to bring about change. Sixty percent of respondents said that they agreed with the economic program of Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich, and 40% said they were opposed to it.

Some 600 people participated in the poll. Teleseker said that the participants were selected as an accurate cross-section of the Israeli voting public.

The poll also asked respondents to rate their feelings on the leaders of Israel's political parties. Here, Netanyahu turned out to be the most popular – or rather, least unpopular – politician, with 41% of those polled saying they had positive feelings about him, and 40% saying they had negative feelings. In second place was Labor's Yechimovich, who was approved of by 33% of those polled, and disapproved of by 43%. Twenty nine percent of voters “like” Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Lieberman, while 54% don't. Tzipi Livni is the least popular party head, with only 23% expressing favorable feelings about her, and 60% expressing negative feelings.