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Israeli Elections - Latest Polls December 17

12/18/2002

Latest polls show slight losses for the Likud party against Labor challenger Amram Mitzna. The changes may be due to public disgust with scandals in the Likud primaries, which apparently included bribery and "sex for votes" according to reports. Police are investigating these reports and have arrested two Likud activists. Some irregularities in Labor primary voting are being investigated as well.

The right bloc of the Likud and allied parties will get 58 seats in the 120 member Knesset according to latest polls, while the left will get 41, with 19 going to center parties, and 2 to the "Aleh Yarok" (Green Leaf) party which wants to legalize marijuana and prostitution. In interpreting these results, it should be noted that the of the center parties, Yisrael B'aliya of Nathan Sharansky would probably join a Likud government. The secularist Shinui party, forecast to get 14 seats, would only join a government if the ultra-orthodox parties are excluded. This becomes a real possibility for the first time, since Shinui may get 14 seats versus 11 for the ultra-orthodox Shas and Yahadut Hatora (Torah Judaism). The left bloc includes 9 to 11 seats forecast for Arab parties and the Hadash communist party, but these parties have never been included in any Israeli government yet.

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Market Watch Poll Result 16 December 2002

Aaron Lerner Date: 17 December 2002

The following are the results of a Market Watch poll carried out on December
16 2002 and broadcast on Israel Television Channel 1 tonight:

Knesset seats:

Right/Religious Bloc: Total 58 - from 54 current Knesset
Likud 35 National Union/Ysrael Beiteinu 7
Shas 7 NRP 5 Yahadut Hatorah 4

"Center" Total 19 from 19
Yisrael B'Aliya 3 Shinui 14 Am Echad 2

Left/Arabs: Total 41 from 47 current Knesset
Labor/Meimad 23 Meretz 9
Arab parties 9 [includes Hadash]

"Drugs/Prostitution" Total 2 from 0 current Knesset
Aleh Yarok 2 This time Aleh Yarok has added legalization of prostitution to
its platform to legalize marijuana

[IMRA: There is no indication how the results of the polling were converted
into Knesset seats, how the "undecided" were distributed between parties and
how partial sets were allocated. It should be noted that a error of +/- 3.8
percentage points is equal to an error of +/- 4.5 seats.]

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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