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Election Polls this week were affected by revelations of probable corruption in the Likud party. Information is partial, but problem after problem is turning up. Primaries controlled by underworld figures were a prelude. Now a questionable 'loan' to PM Sharon has sent Likud tumbling down to 27 seats versus 24 for labor in the Ha'aretz Poll.
However, most of the votes lost by Likud are going to other right-leaning parties. The ultra-orthodox Shas party is gaining, as is the Shinui party that favors Constitutional Law and religious freedom. This platform is apparently particularly irksome to Israeli newspaper commentators. They have mercilessly torn into Shinui and its head Tommy Lapid. It may not be related to the the worry that Shinui is causing the large parties - maybe it is good investigative journalism. But is it coincidence that these facts we read about Lapid and Shinui - all quite shocking - are being revealed only now. Somehow, I doubt it.
In any case, it does not seem that the scandal can produce a victory for the left. It may be forgotten or dormant by the time elections come around. The Attorney General will probably not pursue the case actively until after elections. Some polls and commentary are below.
By Haaretz Service
Following yet another week of scandal, this time involving the prime ministerial family, the Likud is continuing to lose support, according to the latest Haaretz / Dialogue poll, which puts the Likud on just 27 seats.
The poll, conducted under the supervision of Professor Camille Fox, also shows the Labor Party breaking through the 22-seat barrier for the first time, with 24 seats, and gives the next two largest parties, Shinui and Shas, 17 and 13 seats respectively.
The survey predicts the right-wing bloc losing three seats in total, garnering just 61. The left-wing bloc (Labor, Meretz and the Arab parties) stands to have 40 seats and the center bloc, including Shinui and One Nation will hold 19
The poll was conducted Tuesday night, the day on which Haaretz revealed the allegations of financial impropriety by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his two sons, Gilad and Omri, over loans they took to pay back illegal campaign contributions.
For the first time since the Knesset disbanded late last year and the election campaign began, senior Likud politicians are getting worried about losing power on January 28.
Various people in the Likud, including ministers, said Tuesday night that the Haaretz report could become a new snowball that could fatally roll over the Likud, stripping it of more votes.
[MidEastWeb - % of refuse reply may be significant because there are usually more
Aaron Lerner Date: 9 January 2003
To Ha'aretz's discredit, this is the second week they join the rest of the
There is absolutely no way for someone reading the poll results to know how
The following are the results of a Dialogue poll of a representative sample
Right/Religious Bloc: Total 58 - from 54 current Knesset 
"Center" Total 22 from 19 current Knesset 
Left/Arabs: Total 40 from 47 current Knesset 
What do you think Mitzna will do after the elections?
If direct elections
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
Aaron Lerner Date: 10 January 2003
+++ Dahaf/Yediot Ahronot
The following are the results of Dahaf polls carried out January 8, 2003.
Yediot Ahronot continues to declines to share with the readers how many
It should be noted that while the results claim to be +/- 3.4 percentage
Total population (including Israeli Arabs) sample of 653:
Right/Religious Bloc: Total 63- from 59 current Knesset [62.5]
"Center" Total 20.5 from 15 [17.5]
Left/Arabs: Total 36.5 from 47 current Knesset [37.5]
"Other" Total 0 from 0 current Knesset 
[IMRA: The popular presentation of the Rabin dollar account in Washington is
As Justice Barak (Attorney General Aharon Barak at the time of the incident)
The account is believed to contain income from Rabin's public speaking
When Rabin's dollar account was discovered, he resigned from the premiership
Do you think that Ariel Sharon knew about the loan that the South African
Who is more trustworthy?
Yediot Ahronot, 9 January 2003 for party vote and 10 January for remainder
+++ Ma'ariv [results changed from Thursday paper]
Ma'ariv declines to share with the readers how many respondents refused to
Even MORE bizarre: The results published on Friday do not match the results
Total population (including Israeli Arabs) sample of 1,000 sample error +/-
Right/Religious Bloc: Total 62- from 60 current Knesset 
"Center" Total 16 from 13 current Knesset 
Left/Arabs: Total 41 from 47 current Knesset 
"Other" Total 1 from 0 current Knesset 
Are you satisfied with the performance of prime minister Ariel Sharon as
Is prime minister Ariel Sharon personally involved in corruption?
Is Omri Sharon involved in corruption?
[Mewnews - the loan was made when Sharon was not PM apparently.
Assuming it is not a violation of the law, is it proper that the prime
There are those who claim that the media is trying to incriminate Ariel
In light of the latest revelations, of corruption in the parties, should the
Which issue of the following concerns you the most lately:
Does Ariel Sharon have a solution to Palestinian terror?
Doe Amram Mitzna have a solution to Palestinian terrror?
Do you support the erection of a separation fence along the Green Line and
Is Ariel Sharon making all the efforts to erect a separation fence as
In reaction to the attack at the old Central Bus Station ion Tel Aviv, the
Does the State of Israel properly treat foreign workers in Israel?
Do you support the activities of the Israel Police expelling illegal workers
Did you watch the campaign broadcasts on television?
Do the campaign broadcasts influence the vote?
Asked Arabs only: If Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara are disqualified from
Ma'ariv 10 January 2003
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
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Replies: 1 Comment
Shinui - why is a party that favors religious freedom & constitutional law considered right-wing? Are they right-wing on the peace process? What is their platform?
Posted by Karen @ 01/12/2003 04:58 PM CST
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