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Parties gearing up for final push in last polls
By GIL HOFFMAN
01/14/2013
Likud Beytenu to start new billboard campaign, Yacimovich to call undecided voters in last few days before election.
 
The 15 parties that have a chance of entering the next Knesset intend to take action over the next few days to grab the public’s attention for the final polls that will be taken ahead of the January 22 general election.

The law prohibits survey results from being published within four days of elections, which makes Friday the last day for polls. The final polls, which will be seen as the ultimate bellwether of the election, will be taken Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman will be going to Hebron and his Likud Beytenu will start a new campaign on billboards, and Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich will be calling undecided voters herself at her party’s Tel Aviv headquarters.

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The Jerusalem Post’s last Smith Research poll before the previous election, which was published February 6, 2009, predicted that the Likud would be the largest party with 26 seats, followed by Kadima with 23. But thanks to a last-minute campaign under the slogan “It’s Tzipi [Livni] or Bibi [Netanyahu],” Kadima took three seats away from Labor and two from Meretz, defeating Likud 28 to 27.

Yisrael Beytenu fell significantly over the last week of the last election from the 17- 18 seats predicted by the Post poll and as many as 21 mandates predicted by a Geocartography poll.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin warned Sunday that if Likud Beytenu does not win 40 seats in the election, three coalitions would be needed: One to pass the state budget, one for the diplomatic process and one to ease the burden of IDF service.

Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he wanted to form the widest coalition possible and would not disqualify any Zionist party.

In radio interviews, Netanyahu denied reports that he had already started building his next coalition.

Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who at the beginning of the campaign had to be prodded to not rule out joining a government led by Netanyahu, sounded eager to join his next prospective coalition in radio interviews Sunday morning.

“The more votes I have, the more I will be able to have influence on policies to make sure we will work with the world, not against it,” Livni said. “I will decide to join the coalition if I will receive guarantees that there will be a real diplomatic process and I will have a serious impact on it.”
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