Friday polls show Jewish Home surge may have been an outlier

Right-wing party seen getting 13-14 seats, and not 18 predicted by Israel Radio poll a day earlier

A man walking by a booth for Jewish Home in Jerusalem in December. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A man walking by a booth for Jewish Home in Jerusalem in December. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Despite a poll Thursday showing a major swell for the Jewish Home party, a crop of Friday surveys show more modest gains for the nationalist party.

A survey in the Israel Hayom newspaper gives the party, headed by Naftali Bennett, 14 seats, while a poll in the daily Maariv sees Jewish Home gaining 13 seats.

On Thursday, a poll by Geocartography Institute for Israel Radio had shown Jewish Home with 18 seats, tying for second place with Labor.

The Friday numbers are closer to previous polls, which had shown Jewish Home — which sits to the right of the ruling Likud faction on the political spectrum — becoming the third-largest party in the Knesset.

Both polls show the joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu joint list leading the pack, with 36 seats according to Maariv, and 34 according to Israel Hayom.

The ruling party had been predicted to get over 40 seats in early preelection polling, but recent polls have shown it bleeding voters on the right to Jewish Home.

Maariv has the Labor Party making small gains with 18 seats, while Israel Hayom shows it sitting with 16 places in the Knesset after the January 22 elections.

The Maariv poll, run by Maagar Mochot, shows ultra-Orthodox Shas with 11 seats and newcomers Yesh Atid and Hatnua, run by Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni respectively, getting nine seats each.

The poll had 501 respondents and a margin of error of 4.5%.

The Israel Hayom poll, conducted by New Wave research, showed Shas and Yesh Atid with 11 seats each, and Hatnua in sixth place with nine seats. The poll had 820 respondents with a margin of error of 3.2%.

Both polls showed the right-religious bloc outnumbering the left-center-Arab bloc by about 13 seats.

The Israel Hayom poll also found 53.5% of Israelis in favor of a two-state solution, though only 39.5% thought Israel should freeze construction in East Jerusalem.

A roundup of polls in the Haaretz daily found large gaps between polls conducted online and polls conducted over the phone. Comparing three telephone polls by the Dialog institute and five Internet polls held over December, the paper found that Likud-Beytenu could have anywhere from 36 seats (phone) to 27 seats (Internet) in the upcoming Knesset.

While Labor and Meretz show gaps of only one seat, depending on the reporting method, Jewish Home gets 19 seats in Internet polls and only 12 in telephone surveys. Similarly, Yesh Atid is sitting pretty with 13 seats among Internet users, but sinks to eight seats when people are asked over the phone.

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