Thursday, January 16, 2003
The full Ha'aretz poll results are now posted. My previous explanation for the move - that we were seeing a continuing fragmentation, with a very small move to the right - looks correct. The fringe parties - UTJ (Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox), National Union (far Right), and Meretz (far Left) all gained seats. Shinui (Centrist secular) and Shas (Sephardi ultra-Orthodox) lost three seats between them; these account fully for the three seat rise of Likud. So: Labor down 4, Shas and Shinui down 3, Likud up 3, National Union, Meretz and UTJ up 1 each - that adds up to a 2 seat move to the Right, hardly the earthquake suggested by the headline of the Likud-Labor edge going from 3 seats to 10.
But it also leaves 2 seats missing. Where did they go? They went to the Green Leaf Party. You are thinking: that's pathetic - the major parties are splintering so bad that a Green party is getting seats? But you are wrong. It's more pathetic than that. The major parties are splintering so bad that a single-issue marijuana legalization party is getting seats.