Likud and Zionist Union still in close fight, polls find
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Elections 2015

Likud and Zionist Union still in close fight, polls find

Either Jewish Home or Joint Arab List would become third-largest party; far-right Yachad would make it into Knesset

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog (L), with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2013. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog (L), with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2013. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Preelection polls published by Hebrew media ahead of the weekend showed the ruling Likud party and the left-of-center Zionist Union neck and neck with little over a month remaining before the vote.

A poll published by Maariv on Thursday showed the Likud receiving 24 seats, as opposed to 23 for the Zionist Union, a ticket comprising MK Isaac Herzog’s Labor Party and former justice minister Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party.

Another poll, published by the business daily Globes on Thursday, showed the Likud and the Zionist Union tied at 24 seats, while a survey published by the news site Walla on Friday gave Likud a 25-23 lead.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Home party and the Joint Arab List are vying to become the third-largest party in the Knesset, the polls found.

Two of the three polls gave the right-wing Jewish Home a slight edge, with 13 seats (Globes and Walla), while Maariv said the party would only garner 11.

The Joint Arab List, which unites three Arab parties — Balad, Ra’am and Ta’al — with the socialist, Arab-Jewish Hadash, would receive 12 seats, according to Globes and Walla, while Maariv placed it ahead of the Jewish Home with 13 seats.

The Maariv poll also diverged from the other two when it came to predicting the showing of the centrist Yesh Atid, giving former finance minister Yair Lapid’s party 12, three more than Walla and Globes projected.

The other centrist party, Kulanu, headed by former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, was given eight seats by Globes and Walla, and seven by Maariv.

All polls predicted that the far-right Yachad party, led by former Shas party chairman Eli Yishai, would make it past the electoral threshold with either four (Globes and Walla) or five (Maariv) seats.

The Sephardic, ultra-Orthodox Shas was predicted to receive six seats by Maariv, seven by Walla, and eight by Globes.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu was pegged at six (Globes and Maariv) and seven (Walla) seats.

The other ultra-Orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, polled at seven seats across all three surveys.

Finally, the left-wing Meretz party was given five mandates by Globes and Walla and six by Maariv.

Each of the three polls was conducted among 500 adult Israelis and had a sampling error of between 4.2 percent and 4.5%.

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