Polls: Sharon can Defeat both Barak, Peres
Israel’s Likud candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon can defeat either caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Barak or Regional Cooperation Minister Shimon Peres, according to a Jerusalem Post poll conducted this week by the Smith Institute.
According to the poll results published Friday by The Jerusalem Post, 42 percent of voters indicated that they would support Sharon against Peres, compared to 39 percent in favor of Peres, a 5-percentage-point gain for Sharon compared with last week's poll, which gave Peres a 39 percent to 37 percent lead. Eleven percent of respondents were undecided, and 8 percent are planning not to vote or refused to answer, according to the report.
Citing a poll by Gallup for Ma'ariv, the paper said that Sharon would defeat Peres for the first time, 45 percent to 44 percent, while a Dahaf Institute poll for Yediot Aharonot had Peres defeating Sharon by the same figures.
Barak’s campaign leaders were hoping their efforts would succeed in narrowing the gap between their boss and Sharon. They have achieved little success, however. Barak succeeded in cutting Sharon's lead by only two percentage points, the Post poll said, while the Likud leader is still enjoying a comfortable lead of 47 percent to 29 percent. Another 12 percent of voters were undecided, while a further 12 percent are planning not to vote or refused to answer. The survey of 501 respondents was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the daily.
All the polls had a 4.5 percent margin of error.
Labor stood behind Barak, nominating him as their candidate in December, while the Meretz party gave Peres the mercy bullet by refusing to provide him with the required support of 10 members of parliament. However, under Israeli law, Barak can abandon his candidacy to Peres if he responds to calls from some of his party fellows to step down.
Barak reacted to the results by reiterating that he does not intend to quit the race and saying that he does not expect to start bridging the gap against Sharon until the last five days before the February 6 election, said the Israeli paper – Albawba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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