Robert Rosenberg reports the hopeful news that Kadima seems to be slipping in the polls. Just before Israel attacked the Jericho jail to kidnap Ahmed Saadat and his PFLP colleagues (accused of assassinating Rehavam Zeevi), Kadima was polling its highest numbers of the election campaign, 42 seats. Now, they’re showing a major erosion in the latest polls:
Six days to the elections and there is movement in the polls — perhaps not enough for an upset, but perhaps enough that when the dust settles, Kadima will have a much more difficult time forming a government than previously believed. A Haaretz poll showed Kadima slipping to 36 seats, Labor at 17 and the Likud sinking below 15 seats, to 14. A Jerusalem Post poll showed Kadima dropping to 34-35 seats, Labor rising from 18-19 to 20-21 and like the Haaretz poll, the Likud at 14 seats.
What is hopeful about this development is that it means that Olmert may be more likely to choose a center-left coalition than a center-right one. The more seats Labor wins the more likely this event might happen. Unfortunately, Labor’s campaign doesn’t seem to have won hearts and influenced voters though in this security obsessed climate it’s hard to say whether any Labor politician could have done better than Amir Peretz.
There is one ominous note–a big winner coming down to the wire seems to be the far-right Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beitenu whose support has risen from 5 seats at the beginning of the campaign to the current 10. He’s angling for the Interior Ministry portfolio in the future government which means he gets the right to call the dogs off if they sniff around him (as they have been doing) a bit too vigorously. Such a development would be worrisome for the Israeli judicial system which he wants to “reform” (which in this case is not necessarily a good thing).
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