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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Haaretz-Dialog poll: Yisrael Beiteinu overtakes Labor

25 [29] Kadima headed by Livni
14 [19] Labor
28 [12] Likud
10 [12] Shas
15 [11] Yisrael Beteinu
03 [03] "Jewish Home" (previously NRP)
05 [06] Yahadut Hatorah
05 [05] Meretz
00 [00] Green Party
02 [07] Retirees Party
09 [10] Arab parties
00 [00] Meimad
00 [00] Strong Israel (Efraim Sneh)
04 [06] National Union (reconstituted)
00 [00] Green Leaf (legalize marijuana)

Haaretz-Dialog poll: Yisrael Beiteinu overtakes Labor
By Yossi Verter Haaretz Last update - 07:14 29/01/2009
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1059737.html

Less than two weeks before the elections, Kadima has only three Knesset
seats less than Likud, but the right wing bloc has grown to 65 Knesset seats
while the left bloc has dwindled to 53, according to the Haaretz-Dialog poll
supervised by Professor Camil Fuchs, of the Department of Statistics and
Operations Research at Tel Aviv University.

The poll shows that Yisrael Beiteinu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, has
overtaken Labor and now has 15 Knesset seats compared to Labor's 14. The
Pensioners Party, who will be part of any coalition, are still hovering on
the Knesset entry threshold with two possible Knesset seats.

Some 22 percent of those interviewed are still undecided. A considerable
number of them are fluctuating between Labor and Kadima and between Kadima
and Likud. Their final decision will determine the elections' outcome.

Had the elections been held today, Benjamin Netanyahu would be setting up
the next government, but his controlling stake according to this poll is
only a flimsy 28. (Other polls, such as the one released by Channel 2 last
night, give Likud 32 Knesset seats, the minimum needed to maintain a stable
government.) Netanyahu will need several parties in his coalition to make up
the rest, which will pull in opposite directions.

Most polls published since the election campaign began and earlier predict
an advantage of the right bloc over the left-center one, indicating that the
nation seems to have decided to go right.

The Haaretz poll, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, shows that the public
has no confidence in the police's motives vis-a-vis the investigation
against Lieberman and his relatives and associates. Only a quarter of those
polled believe that the police are fair in renewing the investigation two
weeks ahead of the elections, while 42 percent believe the timing is
politically motivated.

The results are a severe blow to the police's prestige, even if the
investigation is unbiased and could not have been postponed, and the police
will be forced ask themselves why the public regards them thusly. About a
third of Labor voters and a quarter of Kadima's also suspect the police's
motives.

The poll shows the right bloc gaining strength, mainly due to the increase
in support for two right wing parties, the National Union and Habayit
Hayehudi, which together have seven Knesset seats. Shas looks to win only 10
Knesset seats.

Labor's ascent, which began after the Gaza operation conducted by Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, has lost momentum and begun to backslide. Labor has
failed to set the national agenda in the elections and to muster additional
support beyond the Knesset seats it gained following the military operation.

The New Movement-Meretz is also slipping back to old Meretz standards with
votes getting them a mere five Knesset seats.

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