Israeli election prediction

Lets skip the intro (click here for full article), and dive right into the scientific prediction and logical conclusions of the article, “Are Israelis already thinking about the next round? 11 short notes, 2 great graphs” by

PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

This is going to be short, as I’m sure you have no time for long election coverage, especially as we all know who’s going to be the next PM…


What is Netanyahu’s coalition going to look like? Two Israeli bloggers, Dr. Ely Kovetz, a Tel Aviv University physicist, and architect Dan Marcus “co-write an election forecast blog called ‘Batel Be-Shishim’ in which they try to make scientifically-based predictions” – that’s Israel’s Nate Silver style attempt at making predictions. The blog is in Hebrew, but Kovetz and Marcus kindly agreed to let the Domain publish an English version of some of their graphs – these will help us understand coalition building in a visual way.


Let’s begin with the blocs though. Readers of the Domain are familiar with the concept – we have the bloc-tracking of Israel’s top pollster, Prof. Camil Fuchs, as a weekly feature (take a look at the most recent graph). Fuchs divides the 120 mandates into two blocs – right and left – Kovetz and Marcus only have 110 in the left and right blocs, and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party as the “center bloc” of (currently) 10 mandates. Here’s the graph projecting probabilities for the number of mandates of the right and left blocs:


And now the second Kovetz-Marcus graph – dividing the blocs into parties and projected mandates. This graph was updated on January 5, according to polls taken in the days prior:


Reasonable conclusion 1: Netanyahu will be forced to head a right-religious coalition. This will make him very uneasy, and is likely to result in a lot of international pressure and an early date for yet another round of elections.


Reasonable conclusion 2: Netanyahu will somehow find a way to broaden the coalition – but this will not be a stable political marriage of opposite worldviews, and yes, is likely to result in a lot of international pressure and an early date for yet another round of elections.

WMM Analysis: Netanyahu will not choose a completely right-wing coalition. He will attempt to move towards the center as much as possible.

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