|last updated April 20, 2010 11:23 AM (EST+7)
published April 21, 2010 6:59 PM (EST+7)
Poll No. 70, April 2010 - Governance and US policy
The results of the public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre show that there is a rise in the level of satisfaction towards how Mahmoud Abbas assumes his role as President of the Palestinian National Authority from 39.4% in October 2009 to 48.2% in April 2010. Along the same lines, this latest poll, conducted over the period of 10-15 April 2010 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, shows a rise in the percentage of Palestinians who believe that the performance of Fayyad’s government is better than the performance of Haniyeh’s government from 26.9% in January 2009 to 42.9% this month.
- Rise in popularity of the President and the Prime Minister
- Fayyad’s government ahead of Haniyeh’s government on performance
- More Palestinians believe economic conditions under Fayyad’s government improved
- Fatah to win the next general elections and local elections
- Rise in number of Palestinians who support a bi-national state
- Faith in Obama’s Administration suffers a major setback
The poll, which included a random sample of 1,198 respondents with a margin of error reaching +/- 3, showed a significant increase in the percentage of those who believe that the economic situation has improved under Fayyad’s government from 23.7% in April 2009 to 41.7% this month. On the other hand, assessment of the security performance of Fayyad’s government remained stable: 43.7% of the respondents said security and safety improved under Fayyad’s government while 31.7% of the respondents said they did not notice any change, and 19.6% said security and safety has deteriorated.
The same applies to the assessment of the respondents regarding the security performance of Haniyeh’s government when comparing the results of this poll and the results of the poll conducted in October 2009. The percentage of those who believe that the security performance of Haniyeh’s government has improved remained stable at around 32.4%, compared with 32.6% who said the performance deteriorated. The same applies to those who believe that economic performance improved under Haniyeh’s government.
Despite the belief that there is corruption inside the PNA, the percentage of those who believe there is corruption in general declined from 87.3% in March 2007 to 73.1% this month. Moreover, the percentage of those who believe that there is a high degree of corruption declined from 56.0% in March 2007 to 48.9% in April 2010.
Political forces and figures
Concerning the balance of power between religious and political parties and figures, the percentage of Palestinians who would vote for the Hamas movement decreased from 18.7% in October 2009 to 14.4% this April, while Fatah movement maintained its level of support at 39.7% in this poll which is very close to the percentage of support it received in October (40.0%).
When asked which public figures they would vote for if presidential elections were to be held this year, respondents chose President Mahmoud Abbas first, with 19.1% of respondents choosing him as compared with 16.8% of respondents in October. Marwan Barghouthi came in second place with 14.5% of respondents, followed by Ismail Haniyeh with 11.2% compared with 16.0% in October. Salam Fayyad came in fourth place with 6.7% of respondents expressing support compared with 4.2% in October. Mustafa Barghouthi came in fifth place with 4.7% of respondents compared with 6.8% in October. The percentage of Palestinians who do not want to vote increased from 23.8% in October to 27% this month.
The poll results also showed a notable increase in the level of support for the establishment of a bi-national state in all of Palestine from 20.6% in June 2009, to 33.8% this month while the percentage of Palestinians who support the two-state solution declined from 55.2% last June to 43.9% in April 2010.
On the issue of local elections which are expected to be organized next July, 52.3% of respondents said that they would participate in them, compared with 38.4% who said they would not. A percentage of 59.5 of respondents said they would vote for Fatah movement, while 18.8% said they would vote for Hamas movement.
Were Hamas not to participate in local elections, Fatah Movement will receive 60.6% of the vote, compared with 6.4% for Islamic Jihad and 4.6% for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Peace prospects and negotiations
There is a general feeling of pessimism among the respondents with regards to the peace process. This is evidenced in the rise in the percentage of Palestinians who believe that the peace process is dead -- from 19.4% in February 2006 to 32.1% this month. Along the same lines, the ratio of Palestinians who still believe that the peace process is alive and that there is a chance to resume negotiations declined from 25.1% in February 2006 to 18.4% this month.
When asked about the best means for achieving the goals of the Palestinian people in ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian state, a majority of respondents supported the option of peaceful negotiations (43.7%) and the option of armed struggle came in second place at 29.8%, while 21.9% of respondents supported peaceful resistance as the best means for ending the occupation.
The American role
Finally, hope invested in the US administration under Barack Obama suffered a major setback as the percentage of Palestinians who believe that the policies of Obama will increase the chances of achieving a just peace plummeted from 35.4% in June 2009 to 23.7% in October 2009 to 9.9% in April 2010.
Regarding the recent US-Israeli disagreement over the issue of settlements, a majority of Palestinians (78.7%) believe that these disagreements are not serious compared with 17.5% who think that these disagreements are serious.
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