Likud Takes Strong Lead in New Election Poll
The Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has opened up a larger lead over other parties in the latest poll, mostly at the expense of the Labor party.
The poll, taken before the Prime Minister spoke in Congress on Tuesday, also showed that respondents favored Netanyahu over Opposition leader Tzipi Livni as prime minister by a margin of 38-35 percent. The effect on voters of the Prime Minister's speech to Congress on Tuesday is unknown.
If elections were held today, the Likud would win 34 Knesset seats, seven more than it now has, according to the Sarid Institute survey carried out for Israel’s Channel 2 television. Kadima, headed by Livni, would lose one mandate and wn 28 seats, while the recently-split Labor party would win only eight places in the Knesset. Under the leadership of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who left the party earlier this year, Labor won 13 seats in the last election.
Respondents awarded Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 14 Knesset Members, one less than it now has.
The poll did not show results for other parties.
The most recent survey before the Channel 2 poll was taken at the end of March and showed that all parties except for Labor would more or less hold their present strength. That poll’s respondents put Likud at the top of the list, with 29 mandates.
Neither survey took into account new parties. Yair Lapid is forming a new left-wing political faction, and Barak has founded the Atzmaut (Independence) party.