JERUSALEM (Dec. 26)
The latest election poll published today shows Liked beating the Labor Alignment in next Monday’s Knesset elections. The poll, conducted by Haaretz gave Likud 49 seats in the new Knesset and Premier Golda Meir’s Labor Alignment 48. In the present Knesset, Labor has 56 seats and the Likud bloc 31.
Today’s poll sharply contradicted one released over the weekend by the Institute for Applied Social Research which had Labor scoring an overwhelming victory with 50 percent of the decided vote against 29 percent for Likud. Neither poll, however, included voters on active military duty, which, according to most experts may prove the decisive factor. Both polls indicated an unusually large number of undecided voters considering that the elections are only five days off. The Haaretz poll placed 20 percent in the undecided category, the earlier one, 40 percent.
According to the Haaretz survey, the National Religious Party dropped from 12 to 9 percent and the two Agudat Israel parties from six to four. The Independent Liberals fell from four to three percent but two new splinter factions which did not exist in the last elections, were given at least one Knesset seat each. These are the civil rights list headed by Labor Party defector Mrs. Shulamit Aloni and the Communist-left-wing coalition Moked.
The disparity between the poll results has left all parties in a quandary. The candidates have largely ignored them and are campaigning at full steam Labor members of the Knesset seemed despondent but not nearly as much as two weeks ago. Privately they expect “Beigin to save us again,” meaning that the uncompromising hard line adopted by the Herut Likud leader will deter many voters from supporting Likud.
Likud meanwhile is running full page newspaper ads in which scores of professors and other academicians announce support for the non-Labor alignment. The purpose of the ads is to demonstrate that by no means all of the academic community supports Labor.