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Labor Alignment Leads Likud Coalition in Public Opinion Poll

May 9, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

For the first time since the June 1981 election, a leading public opinion poll gives the Labor Alignment a lead over the ruling Likud coalition. According to a poll by “Pori,” published in Friday’s Haaretz, 41.4 percent of those polled favored Labor, while 37.3 percent favored Likud. The poll was taken during the second half of April and covered 1,200 people nation-wide.

Compared to a Pori poll a month earlier, Labor leaped ahead by seven percentage points; Likud remained almost static. All the smaller parties showed losses. Compared to the 1981 election results, Likud did not show any gain, while Labor increased its lead by four-and-a-half percentage points. Rafael Gil, director of Pori, attributed the change to widespread concern over the economic situation and over the ongoing military involvement in Lebanon.

Political observers recalled that, in a recent speech. Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres called for early elections. They predicted that in light of this latest poll, Peres’ call might be picked up by others in his party which up to now had been reluctant to join Likud’s urging for early elections. (According to Israel law, a Knesset majority is required for the holding of early elections.)

The poll’s dire predictions for the small parties will doubtless render them less inclined than ever to give their support to a move for early elections, political analysts noted. Premier Menachem Begin has said several times that he would not push for early elections against the wishes of his small coalition partners. Analysts also noted that if a settlement in Lebanon is achieved, Likud could quickly recoup its loss of popularity.

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