Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Numbers

First, a poll from April by the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre, a Palestinian NGO. On voting intentions should there be an election, it gave a figure of 16% support for Hamas in Gaza compared with 42.7% for Fatah. 40.9% of respondents in Gaza said the West Bank government was doing a better job than the Gaza government, compared with 26% saying the reverse.

And yet quite a number of people seem under the impression that Hamas is the more popular party with the Palestinian population, at least judging by commenters at the New Statesman. (Via Bob.)

Everyone knows that the Gaza flotilla killings were a massive defeat for Israel in the battle for public opinion, but how big a defeat? Michael J Totten links to a poll:
Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters believe pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza-bound aid ships raided by Israeli forces are to blame for the deaths that resulted in the high-profile incident.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 19% of voters think the Israelis are to blame. Thirty-two percent (32%) more are not sure.
More here. It would be interesting to see polls from other countries.

Michael Totten also links to another poll story from a year ago:
A survey conducted by the Boston Review in its May/June issue shows that nearly 25% of American non-Jews blame “the Jews” a moderate amount or more for the financial crisis.
Original story here.

Mick Hartley brings news of further criticism of the survey published by The Lancet in 2006 claiming a death toll of 600,000 in the Iraq War. The survey has now been questioned by Professor Michael Spagat of the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London:
Professor Spagat's research analyses the high-profile Burnham et al (2006) survey that estimated 601,000 violent deaths in the Iraq war and says it is unreliable, invalid and unethical and resulted in an exaggeration of the death toll.
According to the study all credible evidence suggests that a large number of people have been killed in the Iraq war. However, injecting inflated and unsupportable numbers into this discussion undermines our understanding of the conflict and could incite further violence”, says Professor Spagat.
More here. Earlier posts on the Lancet survey here and here.

Finally, at Ghosts of Alexander, AfPak Conference: Opinion Polls Make You Dumb. (Oopsy.)

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