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Israeli right disappointed by poll predictions

The right-wing electoral coalition of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu is predicted to lose 10 seats in the forthcoming Israeli election, a television poll suggests. The results of the poll predict 32 seats for the group headed by current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, something that concerns Likud Party officials. They believe that the poll's estimate is far too short of the more commonly predicted 45 seats.

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that some Likud officials are blaming an inefficient public relations effort by the coalition members for the poll results. "Somebody is operating under the assumption that this is going to be an easy win, so he decided that there is no need to work hard," the newspaper reported one official saying. According to another official, however, the blame lies with Netanyahu, who is spending time on state issues instead of the election at what the party considers to be a critical time.

The latest polls have the right-wing parties winning a total of 64 seats in the Knesset in next week's election.

Analysts think that Netanyahu will not allow the far-right Otzmal Leyisrael into his expected coalition government, which could be a problem. "If [Yair] Lapid and [Tzipi] Livni don't join the government, we will find ourselves with a problematic coalition that is open to extortion," one Likud official told Yedioth Ahronoth. "Netanyahu won't be able to dictate the terms."

In an effort to improve their chances of victory within the little time left before the election, the Likud-Beiteinu team is planning to start an active public relations campaign aiming at publicising its programme. The campaign includes a speech by Netanyahu in the campaign headquarters targeting undecided voters. Observers, though, think that this may be too little too late.

Middle EastNews
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