(August 25, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Voter turnout in Israel’s Sept. 17 election may be very low, according to a new Israel Hayom-i24 News poll, sparking concern among the various political parties.
Segmenting the results by the respondents’ stated political affiliation, the survey found that only 65% of Likud voters planned to cast their ballots on Sept. 17. Blue and White could count on the support of 69% of its electorate, and the Joint Arab List would see 55% of its supporters arrive at the polls.
Labor-Gesher would see greater support, as 82% of its supporters plan to vote, followed by United Torah Judaism (74%), Yamina (formerly the United Right) with 62% of its voters, Yisrael Beytenu (68%), the Democratic Union (74%), Shas (62%), Zehut (73%) and the radical Otzma Yehudit Party, which can count on 69% of its supporters.
Zehut and Otzma Yehudit are not expected to pass the 3.25% (four-seat) electoral threshold.
The poll, conducted by the Maagar Mohot Institute under Professor Yitzhak Katz, polled 611 people and has a margin of error of 4%.
Alarmed by the data, the various parties are planning to mobilize voters in different ways.
Likud insiders said that the party will have twice as many activists on the ground come election day, who will contact registered voters and convince them to go to the polling stations.
Blue and White is reportedly working on a special mobile application that would help the party monitor its members’ voting rate. The party also plans to double its efforts on the ground.
Yamina plans on recruiting thousands of activists to help with both an awareness campaign highlighting the importance of voting as well as with mobilizing voters on Sept. 17.
Yisrael Beiteinu declined to disclose how it plans to ensure high voter turnout.
The Democratic Union also chose not to detail its plans, saying in a statement that “we have to win this election to defeat the religification in the education system, the annexation plans, the threats against the High Court of Justice, and the destruction of Israeli democracy. Israelis understand that we have to effect change. Voter turnout will increase and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
The Joint Arab List has launched a campaign titled “Joint struggle. Joint future,” hoping to secure at least one mandate based on Jewish votes. The party said it seeks to bolster Arab-Jewish cooperation, and that “this type of courageous partnership between those who seek true civilian and national equality and peace is necessary in a time of struggle against the right.”
Joint Arab List head Ayman Odeh said, “The right-wing government can exist without us, but there will be no alternative to the right-wing government without us.”
Labor-Gesher plans to set up an election day headquarters to mobilize voters.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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