Polls Give Likud Election Lead

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Two separate polls show the Likud party, headed by Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, holding a substantial lead in the upcoming general elections.

According to a Dialog poll conducted by the Israeli daily Haaretz, if the elections were held today, Likud would win 32 seats compared with 26 projected mandates for the Kadima party.

The poll revealed that 64 members of Knesset (MKs) from the right-of-center bloc would be elected, compared with 56 for left-wing candidates, which includes 11 mandates from the Arab parties.

"It's clear that the mood on the Israeli street is plainly in Likud's favor," according to a Haaretz analysis of the survey, which will be published in full in the weekend paper.
Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by the Dahaf Institute also gave Likud a six-seat lead in the Knesset over the Kadima party, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

While the previous Dahaf poll gave Likud 27 seats and Kadima 29, the latest survey showed 32 seats for Likud and 26 for Kadima.

The latest poll showed Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Labor party, which has been sliding for months, dropping further--from 11 to eight mandates.

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party would win 11 seats, the same number as the Arab parties.

The Russian immigrant-founded Yisrael Beitenu party would win nine seats, the ultra-left-wing Meretz party and the hareidi parties seven seats each, and the new National Religious Party would wind up with six mandates, according to the survey.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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