Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Defense Minister Ehud Barak Israel News Photo: Flash 90

A poll published Thursday showed that the war in Gaza has boosted the Labor party by 5 mandates, up from 11 a week ago to a total of 16 this week. In addition, Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud Barak saw a jump in his popularity from 34 percent of the public approving his performance a half a year ago to 53 percent in the current survey. The poll was conducted by the Dialog institute for the Hebrew-language Ha’aretz daily newspaper.

The poll also asked respondents how they believe the war in Gaza should continue. A majority, 52 percent, said that Israel should continue attacking Gaza from the air. Twenty percent said they believe Israel should try and reach a ceasefire, while only 19 percent said they believe Israel should begin a ground invasion of Gaza.

In addition, the national religious parties continue to lose ground. Whereas in the previous poll a week ago the new Jewish Home party received 6 seats, in this week's poll they recieved only 3. In addition, the new National Union party did not recieve any mandates.

Following are the complete results of the poll, with the amount of mandates each party gained in last week’s poll in brackets.

Likud                            32         [30]

Kadima                         27         [26]

Labor                            16         [11]

Israel is Our Home         11         [11]

Shas                             9          [13]

Meretz                           7          [8]

UTJ                               5          [5]

Hadash                          4          [3]

Re’em-Ta’al                    4          [3]

Jewish Home                 3          [6]

Balad                            2          [2]

According to the poll, the right-wing bloc and left-wing bloc in Israel are in a dead heat. A coalition of Likud, Israel is Our Home, and the religious parties would have 60 seats. A coalition of Kadima, Labor, Meretz and the Arab parties would have 60 seats as well.

The poll found all three major parties gaining mandates, reducing the seats in the smaller parties. To the right of the political spectrum, gains for Likud came at the expense of losses for Shas and the Jewish Home parties. On the left, gains for Kadima and Labor came at the expense of a loss for Meretz.

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