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Poll: Strong Parties Drop, Small Parties Rise

The latest pre-elections poll finds Likud, Labor and Jewish Home losing votes as Yesh Atid, Meretz and Otzma Leyisrael rise.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/25/2012, 9:23 PM

Elections
Elections
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Many parties that had reason to celebrate their standing in the polls took a hit last week, according to a survey by Professor Avi Degani of Geocartographia.

The survey found Likud Beytenu dropping by one mandate to 36 while Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) dropped by nearly 3 mandates to 12.5. The numbers for Habayit Hayehudi are contradictory, as most polls gave the party 11-13 seats, so this is not a drop at all.

The results were similar to those found in a Ha’aretz poll earlier in the day.

Degani found the Labor party losing support, as well, and dropping to 14 mandates. The Hatnua (Movement) party led by Tzipi Livni saw perhaps the most dramatic drop, going from 8 mandates to 4.5.

The extra votes were picked up by a variety of small parties. The largest party to benefit was Shas, which showed a jump up in support to 12 mandates, putting it in position to compete with the Habayit Hayehudi party for third-largest status.

Other parties that saw an increase in votes were Meretz, which Degani polled as receiving six mandates – twice its current number, and Yesh Atid, which was shown getting 10 mandates’ worth of support.

Otzma Leyisrael was given 4 seats’ worth of support, a boost for the fledgling party, which has wavered just above the minimum level of support needed to enter Knesset. Perhaps more surprisingly, the Ale Yarok (Green Leaf) party, which supports the legalization of marijuana sales and use, was polled as passing the minimum vote threshold with three seats. The Ale Yarok party has run for Knesset in four elections but has yet to earn a seat.

The poll showed Kadima, until recently the largest faction in Knesset, failing to pass the vote threshold. The Am Shalem, Gimlaim (Pensioners), Koach Lehashpia, and Yerokim (Greens) parties all failed to get the minimum level of support as well.