Thursday, January 15, 2009

Globes Poll shows Netanyahu sitting pretty,Rightwing Bloc 67 seats

(globes).Despite the successes of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, under a government of the Kadima and Labor parties, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, most Israelis would like to see Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu installed as prime minister on February 11. A "Globes" survey, in collaboration with Geocartography, managed by Prof. Avi Degani, predicts a sweeping victory for Netanyahu and the right-haredi (ultra-orthodox) block in the coming elections if they were held today, and gives Likud 33 out the 120 Knesset seats.

Contrary to other polls published in the last 24 hours, that project a close race between Kadima and Likud and a stalemate between the left and right, the Globes survey gives the right-haredi block 67 Knesset seats, and the center-left block 53 seats.

For all that, the successful military operation has had an effect, and the Labor Party continues to strengthen. The poll, carried out yesterday evening among a representative national sample of 500 interviewees from the adult (18+) Jewish population, shows Barak's party rising within two weeks from 12 seats to 16.

Although the current poll shows the Likud with fewer seats than the previous one, Netanyahu might well want to freeze the current position, since 33 seats for Likud leaves the extreme right wingers on its list out of the Knesset. Barak can be minister of defense in his government, and the plan to let Kadima wither in opposition can go ahead - perfect from Netanyahu's point of view.

Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Our Home party has managed to keep its ground, stabilizing at 14 seats.