Near-final polls disagree on size of Likud, right

With less than a week before vote, right-wing bloc predicted to win as many as 72 seats and as few as 65

Sheets of newly printed ballots seen at a printing house in Jerusalem, January 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Sheets of newly printed ballots seen at a printing house in Jerusalem, January 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Significant discrepancies, especially in the number of votes going to right-wing parties, were apparent in a slew of Thursday polls that were among the last to be released before the elections next week.

Election law forbids the release of polls in the week of a Knesset election, meaning that the last opportunity to publish polls is Friday.

The polls all point to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-Beytenu alliance garnering the most Knesset seats. However, the numbers varied: Ma’ariv and Israel Radio showed Likud-Beytenu with 37 seats, Israel Hayom gave the party 35, Yedioth Ahronoth predicted 33, and Channel 10 only 32.

The polls continued to show a clear majority going to the right-wing/religious bloc, but again the numbers fluctuated quite widely: Maariv gave the right wing 72 seats in the next Knesset, Israel Radio 71, Israel Hayom 67, and Channel 10 65 seats.

The Labor Party held steady in the polls at 15-17 seats, making Labor the likely second-largest party. The Jewish Home party showed a similar range of 13-15 seats in its predicted third-place finish. 

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid showed fluctuations as well: Israel Hayom gave the new party 12 seats, Channel 10 showed 11, Israel Radio showed 9, and Maariv only predicted 8 seats.

The polls showed Shas with relatively consistent results at 10-12 seats, but Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party showed variable results: While Ma’ariv and Israel Radio showed the new party with only five seats, Channel 10 and Yedioth Ahronoth both gave it nine seats.

The Arab parties together came in with 10-11 seats, a figure that’s consistent with past results. Meretz ranged from 5-7 seats, and United Torah Judaism from 5-6.

In almost all the polls, both centrist Kadima and far-right Otzma Leyisrael made it into the Knesset at 2 or 3 seats, defying previous results — particularly in the case of Kadima, which is currently the largest party but was widely expected to not return to the Knesset.

Smaller parties such as Am Shalem and the Green Leaf party were not shown in any of the polls as receiving enough votes to enter the Knesset.

All the polls had the usual margin of error of 3-4 percent.

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