About the Israel National Election Studies

National election studies in Israel began in 1969. The two basic elements have been a pre-election survey based on a national sample and an edited volume regarding major aspects of the elections. All surveys were conducted prior to Knesset elections and Prime Ministerial elections (held in 1996, 1999, and 2001). At least one survey was carried out in each election year; in certain years, more than one survey was conducted, and in several years a post-election survey was added. In some years (1973, 1988, 1999, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019-2021), a panel design was used. The aim of the Israel National Election Studies is to investigate voting patterns, public opinion, and political participation in Israel. Each election study addressed a wide range of substantive themes including expectations about the election outcome; perceptions and evaluations of the major parties and candidates; information about politics; partisanship; assessments of the relative importance of major problems facing the country; attention to campaign coverage in the mass media (in recent studies); feelings of political efficacy; political values; left vs. right positions; trust in government; political participation; vote choice past and present; economic well-being; policy positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, social welfare, state and religion, economic, social, and civil rights issues; evaluations of political figures and groups; measures of religious affiliation and religiosity; and detailed demographic information.

These data sets serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers and students concerned with theoretical and empirical aspects of mass politics in Israel. Since several questions have been asked repeatedly throughout the years, these surveys provide a unique source of information on public opinion trends and political behavior in Israel.

Generous and continuous support over the years for the INES project was provided by the Israel Democracy Institute, Jerusalem, and the Pinhas Sapir Center for Development, Tel-Aviv University. The Israel Science Foundation supported INES in 2013 through a personal grant to Shamir, and in 2019-2021, as part of the Center of Excellence "Looking beyond the Crisis of Democracy: Patterns of Representation in Israeli Elections". Tel Aviv University sponsored the INES 2015 survey, with a complementing contribution by Yad Hanadiv. In 2019, the Presidents of the three Universities participating in the Center of Excellence, Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Haifa contributed to the INES survey; in addition, Tel-Aviv University contributed to the 2021 survey. The financial support of the Alvin Z. Rubinstein Chair in Political Science at Tel Aviv University for the construction and maintenance of the INES website is also acknowledged, as is the assistance of Natalia Volchkina from the Israel Social Sciences Data Center (ISDC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Stephanie Wang, Yasmin Alkalay R.I.P, Adi Livny, Orit Viks, Yael Hadar, Nir Atmor, Shirah Bergman, Einat Gedalya-Lavy, Nechama Horwitz, Daniel Zucker, Clareta Treger, Naama Rivlin-Angert, Rotem Rozenblum, Priya Tuch-Deva and Amiad Savir, our first webmaster.

The INES logo is based on a drawing of the Knesset building by Amnon Lahad, age 11, in 1971.