Polls Predict Likud Victory Or Stalemate With AM-Israel-Shamir, Bjt
JERUSALEM (AP) _ The right-wing Likud bloc will win the general election or the vote will end in a stalemate, according to election polls published Friday.
The four surveys indicate Likud, along with its right-wing and religious allies, will capture 56 to 65 seats in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections.
The Labor Party and its left-wing partners are expected to take 46 to 55 seats, far short of the 61 needed to form a majority in the the 120-member legislature, the polls said.
″There are two possibilities,″ political analyst and pollster Hanoch Smith told The Associated Press. ″We can expect either another Labor-Likud coalition or a victory by Likud, aligned with its right-wing allies and the Orthodox parties.
″On the other hand, not very many people would predict that Labor will be able to form a government.″
The four organizations who conducted the surveys this week provided no margin of error. Only one, the PORI Research Institute, provided the number of people interviewed - 1,200. Most polls in Israel interview 1,200 people as a representative sample of the population.
One survey, by the Likud-aligned Modiin Ezrahi, shows Likud taking 43 seats and its allies an additional 22 for a winning 65-delegate total.
″It seems that Likud will form the coalition, and according to my calculations it will be a strong coalition,″ said Rahel Israeli, who conducted the poll published in the Maariv daily.
A poll conducted by Machon Yisraeli, an independent polling group, shows Likud and its partners capturing between 57 and 63 seats.
The PORI Research Institute, which is also nonaligned, had Likud with a slight edge over Labor.
″It looks today that Likud is stronger than Labor, but no one knows what will happen on election day,″ said Rafael Gill, director of PORI.
The three polls indicated more than 10 percent of voters were undecided.
If neither party can form a government, Labor and Likud could be forced to join together in a coalition like the one created after the stalemated 1984 elections.
But according to Modiin Ezrahi, 46 percent of Likud voters and 58 percent of Labor supporters oppose continuing such a national unity government.
Smith said his surveys indicate that as many as 75 percent of the general electorate want ″a decision one way or the other.″
″But a majority say a standoff or a Likud government will emerge,″ he said.
The Labor-aligned pollster Tatzpit said Labor’s left-wing grouping would win 55 seats, while the Arab Communist Hadash Party would take four and other Arab parties another four delegates. Labor has repeatedly refused to form a government with the Communists.
The Labor Party has been losing popularity since December, when a Palestinian uprising against the 21-year Israeli occupation erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. More than 300 Palestinians and six Israelis have died in the violence.
Smith said polls indicate Labor was 16 points ahead of Likud in December, but by June the two parties were running neck-and-neck.
Likud, which opposes giving up any occupied land, has pledged to use more force to end the uprising. Labor has said it will give up parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in exchange for peace.