Middle East

Election poll shows Israel PM's list losing ground

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (R) launch the Likud-Beitenu elections campaign on December 25, 2012 in Jerusalem. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON

JERUSALEM: The rightwing Likud-Beitenu list and Labour have lost ground ahead of Israel's January 22 general election, a poll published on Friday showed, also confirming a rise for nationalist and religious parties.

The Dahaf Polling Institute survey predicted the joint list of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu would win 33 seats.

Two weeks ago, a similar opinion poll predicted 35 for Likud-Beitenu, and two weeks before that they were predicted to take 37 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, or parliament.

The Labour party, led by Shelly Yachimovich, would take 17 seats compared with 19 and 19 in the previous polls, according to the results published in the mass-circulation daily Yediot Aharonot.

Naftali Bennett's rightwing religious party Jewish Home would win 12, versus 11 and 11 previously, while support for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party was seen as unchanged at 11 seats, the same finding two weeks ago and a month ago.

The centre-right HaTnuah party of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni would win 11 seats, Yesh Atid headed by former journalist Yair Lapid would take 11, United Torah Judaism six, leftwing Meretz four, extreme rightwing Otzmah two, moderate religious Am Shalem party two, and Arab lists 11.

There was no margin of error given for the poll, in which 1,250 people were interviewed.





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