Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Likud Takes Solid Lead in Israeli Polling

With the Israeli Knesset elections set for February 10th, 2009, Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party have taken a solid lead in polling over Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Kadima), Ehud Barak (Labor), and other political parties.

For those unfamiliar with the Israeli political process, the Knesset (parliament) has 120 seats. These seats are split proportionally, according to the election results. Vote cast their ballot for a specific party, with the head of that party being that party's nominee for Prime Minister. Parties must break 2% (approximately two seats) to earn a seat in the Knesset. Also, the ruling party must have a at least 61 seats to form a government. As the likelihood of getting so many seats is extremely slim, this leads to coalition building among the parties. (That's the basic gist, and I hope I got it right. Parliamentary forms of government can get very confusing...)

I will proceed to post the average of four of the latest polls for the Knesset elections, with the current seats held by that party in parentheses.
  • Likud: 34.3 seats (12)
  • Kadima: 25.5 seats (29)
  • Shas: 11.3 seats (12)
  • Arab parties: 10.3 seats (10)
  • Yisrael Beteinu: 9.3 seats (11)
  • Labor: 8.3 seats (19)
  • Meretz: 8 seats (5)
  • United Torah Judaism: 6.5 seats (6)
  • Jewish Home: 5.3 seats (9)
  • Green: 1.8 seats (0) *
  • Retirees Party: 0 seats (7) *
* - do not break the 2% threshold for representation
Kadima is facing a drop of 4-5 seats, as Likud looks to gain over 20 seats. The demise of Labor leaves the party staring at a potential loss of over 10 seats, and putting the former second-largest party (2006) fighting for 5th or 6th.

As these now stand, Bibi Netanyahu is likely to be Israel's next Prime Minister, with the Likud coalition gathering enough seats to have a stable government in the Knesset.

This blog fully endorses Bibi Netanyahu and Likud. We hope that they come out with a resounding victory.


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