Overwhelming Support for Retaining Judicial Review Among Right Wing-Voters

August 12, 2019


Israel Democracy Institute Staff, Israel Democracy Institute, August 12, 2019

With permission, read full article at IDI.

The Israel Democracy Institute published today (August 12th) a special survey today examining attitudes of right wing voters on a number of issues related to September’s election including the possibility of a unity government and recent proposals that would limit judicial review and oversight of Knesset and government decisions. The poll reveals that 42% of right-wing voters support a unity government and that 43% oppose additional political power for elected officials at the expense of the Judicial Branch of government.

The survey was conducted among right wing voters from April’s election who supporter the following parties: Likud, Shas, UTJ (United Torah Judaism), Yisrael Beitenu, URP (United Right Parties), Kulanu, the New Right, Zehut, and Gesher.

Highlights of the Findings:

42% of those surveyed support the establishment of a unity government, compared to 44% who oppose (14% have no opinion). A breakdown of the supporters by party reveals that: Gesher voters constitute – 83% of the supporters, Kulanu – 71%, Yisrael Beitenu – 61% and the New Right – 51%.

In two other parties, the proportion of opponents of the establishment of a unity government is significantly greater than that of supporters (URP – 78%; UTJ – 67%). In the Likud, 42% support a unity government while 44% oppose; in Shas– 36% support and 43% oppose; in Zehut – 44% support and 46% oppose.

Judicial Review:

43% of right-wing voters do not agree that politicians should be given more power at the expense of the justice system, compared to 47% who agree. While most right-wing voters (68%) and voters for ultra-Orthodox parties (Torah-65%, Shas-55%) support additional power for politicians, almost half of Likud voters (47%), the New Right (46%) and Zehut (45 %) support this position. Among Yisrael Beteinu voters (52%), Kulanu (70%) and Gesher (85%), findings indicate a high rate of opposition to increased power for politicians at the expense of the justice system.

All right-wing voters overwhelmingly support maintaining judicial review and the courts’ supervision over executive and legislative branches (67%), compared to 24% who think this is unnecessary.

When it comes to judicial appointment to the Supreme Court, 60% would like to see a public hearing held in for nominees. Only 23% oppose this idea.

Immunity:

56% of right wing voters agree that immunity for elected officials during their term in office creates inequality before the law among citizens. 30% of those polled believe that elected officials have earned the trust of the people, and therefore they should be granted immunity from prosecution during their term in office. When looking at the findings by party affiliation, we see that – a small majority of URP (49%) and UTJ (46%) voters support an amended immunity law, while voters from most other right-wing parties believe that granting immunity from civil law creates inequality before the law among citizens (Shas 46%, Likud-57 %, The New Right – 57%, Yisrael Beitenu – 58%, Kulanu – 74%, Gesher – 94%).

Indictment of the Prime Minister:

53% of those surveyed support Benjamin Netanyahu remaining in office even if he is indicted, while 21% believe that he should leave office temporarily and return to the Prime Minister’s Office only if he is acquitted. 18% support Mr. Netanyahu’s resignation if he’s indicated and 6% would support a plea bargain stipulating that if he agrees to complete retire from political life completely he would not stand trial. Most of those polled who wish to see Netanyahu continue to serve as prime minister even if he were to stand trial are voters from the Likud, the ultra-Orthodox parties and the right-wing parties, while supporters Kulanu, the New Right, Yisrael Beitenu, Gesher and Zehutr prefer that Netanyahu resign.

The survey was conducted from June 24-26 2019, through the Rafi Smith Institute, among a representative sample which included 1063 voters of the following parties: Likud, Shas, UTJ, Yisrael Beitenu, URP, Kulanu, the New Right, Zehut and Gesher.