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      Joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu List Polls Less Than Expected

      The first polls since the announcement that the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu would run together indicate that the move may not be worth it.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 10/28/2012, 10:52 PM

      Elections
      Elections
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The first polls since the announcement last Thursday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that the Likud and we spell it Yisrael Beytenu would run together indicate that the move may not be worth it. A Channel 10 poll shows the united parties getting 35 seats, 7 fewer than their combined strength now. A poll by Channel Two shows the party doing much better, with 42 seats, the same as the total predicted for them if they run separately.

      According to Likud sources who spoke in the media over the weekend, internal polls indicate that the party could reach or pass the 50 seat mark.

      Both polls have the Labor Party, led by Shelly Yechimovich, in second place with 23 seats. The Channel Ten poll has Shas at 14 seats, and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party at 13. That poll also has the joint National Union – Bayit Yehudi party locking up nine seats. In the Channel 2 poll, the joint religious Zionist party receives only 5 seats. Both polls indicate a strong showing for the right wing; parties that are liekly to join a government led by Netanyahu are to receive 64 seats, while the left receives 56.

      Other small parties that barely make it into the Knesset include Kadima, with 5 seats in the Channel 10 poll and 3 in the Channel 2 poll, while Meretz receives 4 seats and 5 seats respectively. The Channel 2 poll has Ehud Barak's Atzma'ut list at three seats, with the party failing to make it into the Knesset at all in the Channel 10 poll.