Ariel Sharon was not even on the ballots, but his presence was clearly felt by many Israeli voters as they headed to the polling booths. Activists for Mr Sharon's Kadima party were out in force at Jerusalem intersections yesterday morning. They handed out stickers saying 'Kadima, strong leadership for peace'. University worker Reuven Kriaff said after casting his ballot in Jerusalem's Katamon neighbourhood that he supported Ehud Olmert's plan for the West Bank. Mr Kriaff, who voted for Mr Sharon during the last election in 2003, said it would take a while until Mr Olmert, former mayor of Jerusalem, reached Mr Sharon's leadership calibre. But he said Mr Olmert would get there. 'It's like cooking a stew, you have to give it time,' he said. In the Kiryat Yovel neighbourhood, Susana Gordin, who immigrated from Moscow in 1992, handed out Russian-language leaflets in support of Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose impressive showing in polls has been one of the surprises of the campaign. 'Lieberman is a strong man, he can get things done,' Ms Gordin said of the man whose platform included plans to disenfranchise Israeli Arabs and force them to sign allegiance to Zionist symbols. 'If Sharon were running everyone would support him, but under the circumstances the strongest one is Lieberman.' Avraham Larza voted with his father Mordechai, 80, for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, in keeping with the directive of its spiritual guide, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. 'For us, everything comes down to the rulings of Rabbi Ovadia,' he said. A woman who identified herself only as Alexandra took issue with Mr Olmert's unilateral approach to the West Bank. She said that even though the Palestinians voted for Hamas during their elections in January, Israel should be open to the possibility of dialogue.