A statement issued by a Palestinian research centre on Monday said that if elections were to take place in the Palestinian territories, Palestinians were noticeably more willing to vote for Hamas than Fatah The Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) based in Ramallah conducts regular surveys every three months to measure the popularity and performance of the Palestinians factions in the Palestinian territories.
The recent poll conducted by the PSR in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip showed a noticeable increase in Hamas' popularity. In its press release, PSR said: "If new presidential elections were held today, and only two were nominated, Mahmoud Abbas would receive 45% of the vote and Ismail Haniyyah 48% of the vote of those participating."
Compared with the results of the poll conducted by PSR last September, when Abbas got 51% and Haniyyah got only 40% of the votes, Haniyyah's popularity has increased sharply. Hamas also would win more seats in parliamentary elections, PSR said.
According to the poll, positive evaluations of conditions in the Gaza Strip rose sharply from 25% three months ago to 43% in this poll.
The poll also showed an increasing optimism about the possibility of national reconciliation that would restore unity to the Palestinian territories and end the current division between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.