Shas finishes third in three Israeli pre-election polls


(JTA) — The Sephardic haredi Orthodox party Shas finished third in three of four recent Israeli election polls.

A Yediot Achronot poll conducted Dec. 12-13 by Minah Tzemach had the party garnering 11 seats in parliament in Israel’s Jan. 22 general elections, tying it for third place with two other parties. A poll by Ma’agar Mohot for Maariv had Shas clinching 12 seats, securing third place alone. 

A poll by Geocartography commissioned by The Jerusalem Post predicted that Shas would become Israel’s fifth-largest party with 10 seats, after Yair Lapid’s 12 seats for his new centrist  secular party, Yesh Atid, and 16 seats for the right-wing Jewish Home Party. Maariv and Yediot had Lapid’s party garnering only eight seats. 

An Israel Radio poll conducted Dec. 11-12 by the Smith Institute gave 10 seats each to the Shas and Jewish Home parties, tying them at third, and nine each to Yesh Atid and its centrist rival, Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party.

The right-wing Likud Beiteinu list emerged as Israel’s future largest faction in all four polls. The Yediot and Post polls both predicted 35 seats for Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman’s fusion list, while the Maariv poll had it clinching 38 seats —  four fewer than their two parties’ combned 42 seats in the outgoing parliament. The Israel Radio poll had Likud Beiteinu at 39 seats.

The Labor Party came in second in all three polls: with 19 seats in the Israel Radio and Yediot polls; 20 in Maariv; and 17 in The Jerusalem Post.

The right-wing Jewish Home crossed the double-digit mark, garnering 11 seats in both Yediot and Maariv polls and 16 seats in the Post’s Geocartography poll.

Hatnua collected 11 seats in the Yediot poll, nine seats in Maariv and seven in the Post-commissioned poll.

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