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Poll: Former Right-wing Voters May Opt for Center Left in Next Week's Election

Right-wing voters are less enthusiastic than in '09, while the social protests have boosted the center-left; Ch. 10 poll: Likud-Beiteinu and Labor tickets weakening, Hatnuah and Meretz gaining strength.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

A poll examining voter turnout predicts a shift that could move three or four Knesset seats from the right to the center-left during the national Israeli election next Tuesday.

The survey by the Midgam Project shows that right-wing voters who cast a ballot in 2009 are “not enthusiastic” about choosing right-wing parties this time around.

This lack of conviction is particularly prevalent among 2009 Likud supporters, though it also exists among Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas voters. Traditional center-left voters, however, have fewer qualms about voting.

According to the poll, 62 percent of Israelis who did not vote in 2009 said they would cast a ballot next week; roughly half of those was certain they would, and the other half was seriously considering it.

Many said the 2011 social protests had encouraged them to go out and vote. Some 70 percent of these voters said they would vote for the center-left bloc, while only 30 would vote for the right.

The poll also reveals that 5 percent of 2009 voters have no intention of casting a ballot this time around, while 24 percent aren’t sure – and most of them identify with the right.

According to one senior pollster Wednesday, “We may see a turnout that will dramatically affect the outcome." On the other hand, he said, "one may assume that many votes will be wasted as voters could turn to niche parties with no real chance of passing the 2 percent threshold” for making it into the Knesset.

The poll, commissioned by the Israel Leadership Institute in Sderot, was carried out on January 13 and 14 among 1,200 Israelis. One of the institute’s goals is to strengthen democracy by increasing voter turnout.

Another poll, released by Channel 10 on Wednesday, says the Likud-Beiteinu and Labor tickets are weakening, while Hatnuah and Meretz are gaining strength.But the center-right and ultra-Orthodox parties still have 63 of the Knesset's 120 seats. With right-wing party Otzma Leyisrael added, that number reaches 65.

It's a sign: A poster for Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party.Credit: AP

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