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We certainly chose the right election pundit

by Jewish Report | Mar 20, 2015

This week’s election was the third I have reported on as a journalist. When I was originally advised by a friend in Cape Town, in 2009, that prominent attorney and communal worker Aubrey Katzef (with one ‘f’ – sorry for the slippages, Aub) had the incredible knack of putting his personal political feelings aside and was a boffin at predicting the outcome of Israeli elections most accurately, I took him at his word and discussed the possible outcomes with Aubrey.

His predictions for the 2009 elections were so close that for the 2013 elections I asked Katzef if he would mind writing a regular column in the run-up to that Election.

While the 2013 results were quite close to the pollsters’ calls, with few surprises, Aubrey’s final opinion prior to the election was even more accurate.

Hence we approached Aubrey to do the same for us ahead of this week’s election. He promised he would try but mentioned that he was overloaded with work at his attorney’s practice. Luckily for Us and our users, once Aubrey got going he (predictably) became passionate and sent us four separate updated predictions over the past few weeks.

SAJR Online was only able to publish three of these as the last two arrived very close to each other.

In case any of our readers and users wonder why we have come to call Aubrey Katzef a pundit, his predictions were absolutely spot on. While all the other ‘pundits’ in Israel and globally were whinging that the election was too close to call, especially in the last few days, Aubrey sent us his final predictions on Sunday 15 March (we published them on Monday 16 March) – when the election was over on Tuesday 17 March, most pollsters and pundits were left red-faced.

For the SA Jewish Report and Aubrey Katzef, however, it was ever-so spot-on. Our Aubrey only had four of the 120-seat Knesset wrong, or just over three percent! Given how wrong most polls and pundits were, Aubrey’s call was, if not the – then one of the best in the world.

The results were as follows for the various groupings, (with Aubrey’s predictions in brackets)

  • Right Wing: 44 seats, (Aubrey’s Monday call: 44)
  • Centre Right: 10 seats, (8)
  • Religious: 13 seats, (13)
  • Centre Left: 11 seats, (12)
  • Left: 29 seats, (30)
  • Arab joint list: 13 seats, (13)

Our Aubrey only had four of the 120 wrong, just over three percent!


Aubrey’s evolving predictions as published:

  1. March 9: AUBREY CALLS OUTCOME FOR ISRAEL ELECTIONS
  2. March 11: AUBREY'S CRYSTAL BALL: LATEST PREDICTIONS
  3. March 16: BIBI-LED COALITION STILL AUBREY’S CALL
  4. March 20: REPORT’S ISRAEL ELECTION PUNDIT HAD IT SPOT-ON

 

Thanks once again Aubrey, I hope your billings didn’t suffer too much and I look forward to working with your incredible knowledge of the Israeli mind-set again next time!

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