Wildly Diverging Polls: Likud Slipping, Soaring

One poll shows Likud down to 25 seats, another gives it 27 and a third no less than 37.

Gil Ronen,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Wildly diverging voting polls published this weekend show the ruling Likud party slipping to 25 Knesset seats, remaining steady at 27 – or soaring to new highs with no less than 37 seats. In one poll, Likud leads Labor by just 4 seats. In another, the gap is 19.

The first poll, conducted by Mina Tzemach for Yediot Aharonot and published Friday, places Labor just four seats away from Likud, with 21 MKs to Likud's 25.  

The second, conducted by Maagar Mochot for Maariv and also published Friday, puts labor at 17 MKs – a full 10 MKs behind Likud's 27.

The third, carried out by the Geocartography Institute and published Sunday, has Likud very comfortably ahead of the pack, with 37 MKs to second-place Labor's 16.

Such wildly different polls on consecutive days are unusual and it is not clear what caused the differences in results.

In the latest poll, by Geocartography, Labor receives only 16 seats, while Yisrael Beytenu decreases its presence in the parliament to 13 seats (from the current 15), and Shas shrinks to 5 seats (from today's 11).

Kadima receives 6 seats in Monday's poll. The so-called right wing bloc – Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas, the Jewish Home, United Torah Judaism and National Union – garner 72 seats all together, compared to 64 today.

In Yediot, writer Sima Kadmon interprets the data as showing Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich has excellent chances of replacing Binyamin Netanyahu. She sees Likud's bad showing as a result of the flap over enlistment of hareidim. Geocartography, on the other hand, sees the flap as having benefited Netanyahu.   

Maariv's poll gives Yisrael Beytenu 16 projected seats, just one less than Labor.