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Election Eve Opinion Polls in Israel Show Kadima Slipping

  • VOA News

Israel's centrist Kadima party appears likely to win the most seats in Tuesday's general elections, but the latest opinion polls show its support slipping.

The polls published by the newspapers "Ha'aretz," "Yediot Ahronot," "Maariv" and "The Jerusalem Post" indicate Kadima will likely win between 33 and 35 seats and be the largest party in the 120 member Israeli parliament.

But that would not be a majority and Kadima would be forced to form a coalition government.

Analysts say Kadima may have a hard time convincing its future partners to back the plan of acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to set Israel's final borders with the Palestinians in the next four years.

Mr. Olmert wants to withdraw some Jewish settlements from parts of the West Bank while making larger enclaves part of Israel. Both the hawkish Likud party and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu oppose any pullout.

The opinion polls give second place to Israel's Labor Party, which is projected to win between 17 and 21 seats. Likud is third in the surveys with a projection of 13 to 15 seats.

The Yisrael Beitenu party, popular with immigrants from the former Soviet Union, is expected to make a strong showing, and polls suggest it could challenge Likud for third place.

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