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Ready for an Election Night surprise?

by Shmuel Rosner

January 10, 2013 | 8:51 am

It’s time for another updated Israel Poll Trends tracker, in which you will this week learn some more about the Israelis who aren’t yet decided about their votes – and more importantly, about the probability of a big Election Night surprise. Prof. Camil Fuchs’ graph for this week shows that the gap between the two political blocs – right and left – is still wide. This leads one to believe that the outcome of elections is pretty much set in stone. On the other hand, the percentage of undecided or uncertain Israeli voters – namely, the number of people still willing to reconsider their positions – is quite significant. What does it mean?

The answer can be found in a shorter form in our poll tracker; for a longer form you'll have to wait a bit and read the long-format article I’ve been working on for next week's print edition. In the meantime, you can contemplate these two contradictory views of this election’s narrative.

One from the left-leaning writer of the Economist – saying it’s all about Israel and the Palestinians:

ISRAEL'S elections, which are now two-and-a-half weeks away, are pitting hawks against doves in stark confrontation, despite the original determination of the two camps' leaders to blur their differences. The question now is whether this unintended deepening of the political divide will extend from the election campaign to the coalition-making process that inevitably follows. Will Binyamin Netanyahu be able to woo a moderate party into his new government? Or will he have to make do with the rightist and religious groups which he calls the 'natural allies' of his party, Likud?

And one from the even more left-leaning writer of The Nation – complaining about lack of sufficient Israel-Palestine discussion:

But the most puzzling riddle concerns the most dangerous threat: The question of peace and war. It has almost completely disappeared from the election campaign. Tzipi Livni has adopted negotiations with the Palestinians as a kind of election gimmick - without emotions, avoiding the word “peace” as far as possible. All other parties, with the exception of the small Meretz and Hadash, don’t mention it at all.

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. Go see the updated numbers.

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