Jewish Home bumps Shas from 3rd slot in polls

(JTA) — The rightist Jewish Home party replaced the religious Shas movement as Israel’s third most popular party in two election polls.

A survey conducted by Ma’agar Mohot for the news site NRG forecast that Jewish Home would clinch 13 seats in the Jan. 22 election, behind Labor’s 18 seats and 37 seats for the joint Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A Dahaf survey conducted for the daily Yediot Achronot had Jewsh Home garnering 12 seats, Labor getting 17 and Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu leading with 33 seats. Both surveys were published on Friday and conducted earlier this week, and had an margin of error of about 4.5 percent.

The Jewish Home opposes territorial concessions to the Palestinians and supports settlements. It is headed by Naftali Bennett, the son of two Americans who immigrated to Israel in the 1960s.

Both polls had Shas, the haredi Orthodox Sephardic party that two weeks ago was in third in a number of polls, receiving 11 seats.

The Yediot poll predicted 11 seats going to Tzipi Livni’s centrist Hatnua party and another 11 to Yesh Atid, another centrist party led by Yair Lapid. The NRG poll had Hatnua and Yesh Atid clinching nine and eight seats, respectively. 

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