Likud strategy to focus on maximizing turnout

Party's billboards mock Blue and White "finance minister".

August 13, 2019 06:43
3 minute read.
Likud hangs fake Blue and White billboards depicting Avi Nissenkorn.

Likud hangs fake Blue and White billboards depicting Avi Nissenkorn.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Likud will focus a significant portion of its campaign budget for the election on maximizing turnout of Likud voters from the April election, sources in the party said on Monday.

The party has analyzed where it did best in the April election and will take steps to ensure that voter turnout in those areas will be as high as possible. In the 2015 election, the party sent out tens of thousands of text messages to potential Likud voters, but this time, because the April election was so recent, such data is not expected to be necessary.

Likud is waiting for a ruling next Sunday from the Central Elections Committee about placing cameras in Arab polling stations. While party officials said Likud is strongly in favor of using the cameras to help eliminate voter fraud, if the committee rules against permitting the party to use the cameras, a sizeable portion of the Likud campaign budget will free up for the voter turnout effort.

Unlike Labor, which is focusing on wooing voters from the Right, the Likud will concentrate on its own past voters, and those of Yisrael Beytenu and the United Right, and not try to take voters away from the Center-Left. The Likud will continue its outreach to immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as well as France and English-speaking countries.

The Likud has published ads in French-language media outlets in Israel and sent fluent French speaking MK Sharren Haskel to the French i24 network. Haskel spoke in English Monday night to dozens of young English-speaking voters in Tel Aviv at an event organized by TLV Internationals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Likud leaders will speak in areas with large English-speaking populations in the weeks ahead in an effort to woo English-speaking voters.

Likud launched a fake Blue and White Party billboard campaign, which shows former chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, Avi Nissenkorn, as the party’s finance minister.

“Avi Nissenkorn: The next finance minister,” the billboards read.

The Likud has heavily criticized Blue and White’s choice of Nissenkorn, claiming that as head of the Histadrut, he maintained several strong unions that prevented competition, causing higher prices in the market.

Likud released a statement regarding the campaign, saying, “[Yair] Lapid and [Benny] Gantz, we fixed it for you.”

“You tried to hide Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn, your candidate for finance minister, so we put him on billboards...  In the upcoming elections, the public will decide between Netanyahu’s strong leadership – with a free and growing economy – and a weak rotation of Lapid and Gantz, with a Histadrut- and strike-based economy.”

Nissenkorn responded on Facebook, stating that “the minimum wage went up by NIS 1,000” during his term as chairman of the Histadrut.

He continued with a list of finance-related changes made during his leadership, including “unemployment was at a low,” “inequality was reduced to the lowest level in the past 20 years” and “provisions for compulsory pension rose.”

“I am in favor of a free market with a social safety net,” Nissenkorn concluded. “I am proud of my social and economic work. I have come to help and be a partner in leading change that the country needs while leaving a voluntary central role.”

Nissenkorn turned his criticism on Netanyahu, saying: “Bibi, you were against most of these processes and you definitely didn’t initiate them – because for you, personal immunity comes before all.”

Lapid, Blue and White’s No. 2, tweeted back jokingly, “I see that Likud put up signs with a photograph of Avi Nissenkorn to remind the public that he raised the minimum wage in the State of Israel. Why only Avi? What about the rest of our excellent list?”

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