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(12/11/07) -

Seven-Seat Lead for Likud in Israel

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Likud party could earn a victory in Israel’s next legislative election, according to a poll by Dialog published in Haaretz. The results suggest the party led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could win 30 seats in the Knesset.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Likud party could earn a victory in Israel’s next legislative election, according to a poll by Dialog published in Haaretz. The results suggest the party led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could win 30 seats in the Knesset.

The Labour party of Ehud Barak is second with 23 mandates, followed by the governing Kadima party of prime minister Ehud Olmert with 15 seats, and Israel Our Home with 11 seats.

In March 2006, Israeli voters renewed the Knesset. Kadima, founded by former prime minister Ariel Sharon and led by Olmert, secured 29 seats in the legislature. Labour, the Retired People’s Party (Gil) and the International Organization of Torah-observant Sephardic Jews (Shas) joined Kadima in a coalition. In October, the Israeli cabinet approved the addition of Israel Our Home to the government. Olmert’s coalition now has the support of 78 of the Knesset’s 120 members.

In June, Barak defeated former Israeli admiral Ami Ayalon in the second round of the Labour party’s primary election with 51.2 per cent of the vote. In August, Netanyahu won the Likud contest with 73 per cent of the vote.

Netanyahu served as prime minister from June 1996 to July 1999, and resigned from Sharon’s cabinet—where he held the finance portfolio—after opposing the "Disengagement Plan." Barak headed the Israeli government from July 1999 to March 2001.

On Dec. 9, Israel’s party registrar officially authorized the Social Justice (Tzedek Hevrati) and Hatikva (The Hope) parties to compete in the next legislative ballot. Social Justice was founded by Russian-Israeli billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak, and Hatikva was created by current Knesset member Arye Eldad, who was elected as a member of National Union (Ikhud).

Social Justice legal adviser David Narodesky discussed the party’s decision to allow Gaydamak to select candidates himself and forego the process of primaries, saying, "There is a stigma against parties where the leader decides alone but there’s nothing wrong with it. He has gotten where he has because he knows what he is doing and he has earned it. (…) We are new and we have to prove ourselves first. We don’t want to disappoint people."

Polling Data

Prospective results of a Knesset election
(Results presented in seats)

 

Nov. 2007

Oct. 2007

Jul. 2007

Likud (Consolidation)

30

28

31

Labour

23

23

25

Kadima (Forward)

15

13

11

Israel Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu)

11

10

10

International Organization of
Torah-observant Sephardic Jews (Shas)

9

9

9

National Union (Ikhud) and
Mafdal (National Religious Party)

6

7

7

Yahadut Hatorah (United Torah Judaism)

6

7

6

Together (Yachad)

4

6

8

Social Justice (Tzedek Hevrati)

4

5

Gil (Retired People’s Party)

2

2

3

Arab parties

10

11

10

Source: Dialog / Haaretz
Methodology: Interviews with 497 Israeli adults, conducted on Nov. 28, 2007. Margin of error is 4 per cent.