Latest Polls Give Labor Tiny Edge over the Likud

The Labor Alignment has a slight edge over the Likud bloc, according to new polls conducted by the parties, but would not win enough votes to form a government on its own, if elections were held today.

The Likud poll, conducted by the Dahaf organization, gives Labor 42 seats in the 120-seat Knesset versus 40 for Likud. Labor’s own poll, conducted by the Dessima organization, puts the breakdown at 43 scats for Labor and 38 for Likud.

Likud conducted its poll among 1,175 Israeli Jews from Aug. 7 to 14. Labor polled 1,503 Jews and 1,200 Israeli Arabs during the first half of August. The results of both surveys were published Friday in the daily Yediot Achronot.

Labor’s polling found that the party is likely to lose 40 percent of the backing it has received from Arabs in previous years, Haaretz reported Sunday.

The poll found Labor earning only 19 percent of the Arab vote, down 10 percentage points from previous elections. The Hadash Communist party and the Progressive List for Peace together polled 54 percent of the Arab vote, Knesset member Abd-el Wahab Darousha’s new party 6 percent, the Citizens Rights Movement (CRM) 5.5 percent, Likud 5.5 percent and Mapam 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the East Jerusalem weekly A1-Biadir A-Siyasi among 500 Arabs living in the Jerusalem area found that only 6 percent intend to participate in the Jerusalem municipal elections next February. The poll also found that only 15 percent of the respondents support the re-election of Mayor Teddy Kollek.

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