About the Israel National Election Studies

The aim of the Israel National Election Studies is to investigate voting patterns, public opinion, and political participation in Israel. Each election study addresses 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); 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.

National election studies in Israel began in 1969. They comprise of two elements: a pre-election survey based on a representative national sample, and an edited volume analyzing major aspects of the elections, published after each election. All surveys are conducted prior to Knesset elections and, when they took place, the direct Prime Ministerial elections (held in 1996, 1999, and 2001). At least one survey is carried out in each election year. In certain years, more than one pre-election survey was conducted, and in several years a post-election survey was added. In some years (1973, 1988, 1999, and in all elections since 2006), a panel design was used for the pre- and post-election surveys.

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 has been provided by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Pinhas Sapir Center for Development of Tel-Aviv University. The Israel Science Foundation supported the 2013 INES study through a personal grant to Michal Shamir, and the five elections between 2019 and 2022, as part of the Center of Excellence “Looking beyond the Crisis of Democracy: Patterns of Representation in Israeli Elections”. Tel Aviv University funded 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 the University of Haifa contributed to the INES survey; in addition, Tel-Aviv University contributed to the funding of the 2021 and 2022 election studies. 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.