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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Dialog-Haaretz Poll: Likud up after primaries - Kadima down, public rejects media blitz

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

The most significant poll question here is actually the one asking Israeli
what they think other Israelis think:

Do you think that the election of Moshe Feiglin to a "realistic" (e.g. can
get in) place on the Likud list adds or detracts from the seats Likud will
win in the elections?
Increase 20% No change 11% Decrease 27% Don't know/didn't hear 42%

So after a tremendous media blitz with every television, radio and print
reporter and commentator pounding away that Likud will lose seats as a
result of the composition of its ticket - and there is only a 7 point
difference between those who think it will hurt the party and those who
think it will help the Likud's chances.

Column # 1 Telephone poll of a representative sample of 488 adult Israeli
Jews (the Arabs were not polled because it is a Moslem holiday - their
results were assumed to be unchanged from previous poll) carried out by
Dialog poll under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv
University on 9 December 2009 - the day after the primaries - and published
in
Haaretz on 10 December

Column # 2 Telephone poll of a representative sample of 422 adult Israelis
(including Israeli Arabs) carried out by Dialog poll under the supervision
of Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University on 18 November 2009 published in
Haaretz on 20 and 21 November

#1 #2
27 28 [29] Kadima headed by Livni
12 10 [19] Labor
36 34 [12] Likud
09 10 [12] Shas
09 10 [11] Yisrael Beteinu
04 04 [09] "Jewish Home" (previously Nat'l Union/NRP)
06 06 [06] Yahadut Hatorah
06 07 [05] Meretz
00 00 [00] Green Party
00 00 [00] Social Justice (Gaydamak Party)
00 00 [07] Retirees Party
11 11 [10] Arab parties
00 00 [00] Meimad
00 00 [00] Strong Israel (Efraim Sneh)
00 00 [00] Hatikvah (Eldad)

As a result of the publication of the Likud list, have the chances you will
vote for them increase or decrease?
Increase 14% No change 41% Decrease 13% Don't know/haven't see list 32%

Do you think that the election of Moshe Feiglin to a "realistic" (e.g. can
get in) place on the Likud list adds or detracts from the seats Likud will
win in the elections?
Increase 20% No change 11% Decrease 27% Don't know/didn't hear 42%

=========
Despite Netanyahu's fears, latest poll shows Likud gaining strength
By Yossi Verter Haaretz Last update - 02:12 10/12/2008
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1045107.html

======
Despite Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu's concern about the right-wing
character of the party's Knesset candidates selected early on Tuesday, a
Haaretz-Dialog poll shows Likud to be gaining strength among voters.

The poll, conducted on Tuesday under the supervision of Tel Aviv University
statistics professor Camil Fuchs, found that if the general election were
held today, Likud would win 36 seats, Kadima would place second with 27
seats, and Labor would trail behind with 12.

Further analysis indicates Likud winning two seats from right-wing parties
(one from Shas and one from Yisrael Beiteinu) and Labor winning one from
Meretz-Yahad and one from Kadima. Meretz-Yahad fell to six seats from seven
in the previous poll.

Previous polls ordered by Netanyahu showed that the list's inclusion of
Moshe Feiglin, the leader of a right-wing faction within Likud, was liable
to cost the party four or five seats. But the Haaretz-Dialog poll does not
back that up.

Instead, it appears that what has come to be known as the Feiglin effect has
yet to make its way into the voters' consciousness, though that could change
over the coming days. The poll found that the composition of the Likud list
has not made a major difference in the way voters say they plan to vote,
although 27 percent of respondents said they thought Feiglin's selection
would cause the party to lose seats, compared with the 20 percent who said
it would gain Likud more voters.

Tuesday's poll is consistent with previous polls giving right-wing parties a
total of 64 seats, compared with 56 for the center-left parties.

The Likud list for the 18th Knesset was announced early Tuesday at the Tel
Aviv Fairgrounds, after a tense day. Feiglin received most of the attention
after he won the 20th spot on Likud's list despite Netanyahu's attempt to
marginalize him.

The top spot went to Likud faction whip Gideon Sa'ar, who was followed by
Gilad Erdan, Reuven Rivlin, Benny Begin, Moshe Kahlon, Silvan Shalom, Moshe
Ya'alon, Yuval Steinitz and Lea Nass. Some of Netanyahu's favorites, like
Assaf Hefetz and Uzi Dayan, were too far down on the roster to expect to get
into the Knesset. Dan Meridor got slot No. 17, but Netanyahu said last night
that although he didn't win a top spot, he would be appointed to a key
cabinet portfolio in a Netanyahu government.

Netanyahu and his close aides were concerned last night that the
preponderance of right-wing candidates could deter potential voters from
choosing Likud in the general election, giving Kadima the votes it might
otherwise have received.

"We're praying that this list won't kill the elections for us," one of
Netanyahu's aides said. "This group won't allow us to advance political
developments, whether regarding the Palestinians or the Syrians."

The Likud list selected in the primary was a kind of slap in Netanyahu's
face. For weeks he exerted a lot of effort in attempting to form a centrist
list filled with moderates, recruiting Dayan and Hefetz even though he knows
Likud is not their party. But it didn't help - Netanyahu's picks are out of
the picture.

Instead, the Likud members considered the party rebels, a term dating from
their opposition to the 2005 disengagement plan during the Sharon
government, are making a comeback. These include Nass, Gila Gamliel, Ehud
Yatom and Michael Ratzon. It turns out that unlike generals, longtime party
rebels neither die nor fade away - they always come back.

In addition to fighting Feiglin - and the party chairman did manage to get
him off the top 10, even though he didn't succeed in kicking him off the
list - Netanyahu succumbed to the temptation to open a second front, against
Silvan Shalom, so that he would not be the No. 2 figure on the list.

Netanyahu won that battle; Shalom got sixth place (seventh after Netanyahu).
But Netanyahu was not the only one responsible for that victory. He can
thank Feiglin, who did not include Shalom on his list of recommended
candidates, because Shalom supported the disengagement and helped Ariel
Sharon market it around the world.

After the results came through, Netanyahu called Shalom to invite him to the
Likud ceremony announcing the Knesset list. "You destroyed me and now you
want me to come?" said Shalom.

"Drop it, Silvan," Netanyahu said. "In all government matters, placement
doesn't determine anything."

Netanyahu's campaign against Feiglin ended up making the right-wing leader a
star. Tuesday night's news broadcasts made it seem like Feiglin had been
chosen to fill the No. 2 spot rather than No. 20 and that he would be
replacing Netanyahu as chairman any minute. That's not the situation, of
course, but in the world of Israeli politics, it's the image that counts.

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