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.

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A survey conducted by Ma’agar Mohot among 1,950 respondents for the news site NRG forecast The Jewish Home, or Habaiyt Hayehudi, would clinch 13 seats in the Jan. 22 election, after Labor’s 18 seats and 37 seats for Halikud Beitenu, the list headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A Dahaf survey conducted for the daily Yedioth Ahronoth among 1,250 respondents had The Jewsh Home garnering 12 seats, Labor getting 17 and Halikud Beiteinu leading with 33 seats. Both surveys were published on Friday, 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 – a conservative religious, or Haredi, party which two weeks ago came out third in a number of polls – receiving 11 seats.

The Yedioth polls 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 polls had them clinching nine and eight seats, respectively. 

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