Results of an Exit Poll on Palestinian Local Elections

The Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), in close coordination with the Central Elections Committee (CEC), conducted an exit poll for the second round of Local Council elections held on 26 March 2022. The purpose of the exit poll was to understand the profile and priorities of voters, and to assess opinions and attitudes towards the electoral process and performance of the CEC.

The main key findings: 

  • The most important criterion in choosing a list was the reputation and morals of the list’s members, with 76%of voters indicating that this was “very important” to them.
  • The perceived attention given to issues of social justice and equality among citizens was the second most common factor, identified as “very important” by 73%.
  • The professional experience of the list’s members (69%) came next, followed by academic qualifications (68%), leadership qualities (67%), and the feasibility of their election platform (66%).
  • The role of members in the national struggle was deemed “very important” by 58%, followed by the list’s focus on women’s issues (55%).
  • Party membership of the candidates was “very important” to 50% of voters, though 51% also declared that they were independent and 45% said that independence of the candidates from the authority or political parties was “very important.”
  • Only one-third of voters said that the religiosity of a candidate was “very important” in their decision to vote for a list.
  • The least important factors in selecting a list were family affiliation (46%) and friendship (43%). Overall, 24% of voters reported having a family member on an electoral list, while 11% reported having family members on multiple lists. Among these voters, 83% voted for the list containing a family member, meaning that, overall, 29% of respondents voted for a list containing a relative.
  • Political affiliation also playedin list selection, though supporters of various political parties were not unified in their voting behavior. For example, in Nablus and Tulkarem, the exit poll found that an absolute majority of Hamas supporters voted for lists containing Hamas-affiliated members. Though this trend was observed among Fateh supporters, who voted for lists containing Fateh-affiliated members, the survey also found that Fateh supporters were more divided in their preferences.Specifically, in Ramallah and Hebron, over two-thirds reported voting for the officially-supported Fateh list, while the remainder of Fateh supporters voted for a second list that, although containing Fateh members, was not officially endorsed by the Fateh movement. By contrast, in Hebron, 80% of Hamas-supporters voted for the Hamas list.
  • Overall, Fateh lists received higher levels of support from men, as compared to women, while the opposite was true for Hamas lists. That said, important variations were observed at local level. For example, though women voters in Nablus indicated support for the Hamas lists at greater rates than men, relative parity between men and women was observed in Hebron. Additionally, in Tulkarem, the opposite was observed, where female support for the Fateh-affiliated list exceeded male support by about 10%.

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