Daily Israel Report

Pollsters Fill Out the Forms Themselves

Channel 10 expose: Though political polls play a large role in Israel's public discourse, they're not carried out professionally. In one prominent institute, staffers fill out some forms themselves.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/26/2006, 10:29 AM / Last Update: 2/26/2006, 12:18 PM


Channel Ten "spies" who went to work for some of the polling companies found that in some cases, for fear of being fined for not meeting the quota, the surveyors fill out the forms themselves.

In the Dachaf Institute, Israel's largest polling firm, Channel Ten found that supervision over the question-askers was very weak. In one instance, when a major foul-up was detected in a poll, the supervisor merely said, "Our entire poll is messed up, but we of course have a way to overcome it..."

At the Shvakim Panorama polling institute, Channel Ten found that it is "easy to get work there," the workers do not always actually make phone calls to find out the public's opinions, and that supervision is lax. "The worker next to me said it's OK to do what I want," one planted Channel Ten staffer said, "and even to fill out the forms myself. The supervisor passes through once an hour to collect the forms."

In response, Dachaf said that the claims raised have no basis in evidence and are groundless.

A recent Arutz-7 interview with Dr. Aharon Fein, head of the Tatzpit polling firm, revealed other types of critical deficiencies with public surveys. Fein said that the polls reflect only the opinion of those who are willing to cooperate with the pollsters, and that these sometimes number only 25% of the populace. "We feel that most of those who do not respond lean towards the right-wing," he said. "The polls are distorted, and we will see this in the elections."

Polls published on Friday show that the Kadima Party continues to lead, with 39-40 Knesset seats, with Labor and Likud to receive fewer than half that amount.