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Friday, August 25, 2006

Israel is turning to the right

It's Friday and it's poll day in Israel. Not surprisingly, the polls show that Israel is turning to the right.

A Ma'agar Mohot poll, broadcast on Channel 2 on Thursday evening found that if the election was held today, the Likud and Israel Beiteinu would each win 24 seats, Kadima would fall from 29 to 14, and Labor would fall from 19 to only 9.

According to a different Ma'agar Mohot poll taken few days ago for the newspaper Israeli, Labor would become the sixth largest party after the next election. Kadima would win 23 seats, Likud 20, Israel Beiteinu 15, Shas 13, the National Union-National Religious Party 12 and Labor only 12. [I suspect that the dramatic change in Kadima Achora's standing in the polls in the last week is the result of more people telling the truth, people realizing just how badly the war went, and people reacting to Olmert's attempts to avoid a commission of inquiry. CiJ]

A Smith Research poll broadcast on Channel 2 found that over 50 percent of Israelis were undecided [I find that number hard to believe. CiJ]. The poll predicted 16 seats for Israel Beiteinu, 14 for Likud, 11 for Kadima and just 10 for Labor [I think that in this poll "undecided" got a lot of seats. But at the end of the day, people have to decide, and the pollsters know how to reflect their likely decisions - when they want to reflect them. CiJ]. The Smith poll found that the Likud could win 20 seats if its candidate for prime minister was former IDF chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon, who returned to Israel from a fellowship in Washington on Thursday, and not Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu.

In a Shvakim Panorama poll broadcast on Israel Radio on Thursday, 29% of Israelis polled said their preferred defense minister would be Ya'alon, 17% preferred former defense minister Shaul Mofaz of Kadima, 10% said former prime minister Ehud Barak and less than 5% said current defense minister Amir Peretz. [Ya'alon is joining the Likud. CiJ]

A Teleseker poll published in Ma'ariv last week showed the Likud rising from 12 seats to 20, adding to the trend predicting a rightward shift among Israelis.
Not surprisingly, Kadima Achora and Labor are trying to resolve their differences over the budget.


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