Daily Israel Report

Poll Shows High Support for Feiglin in Likud

Challenger to Netanyahu says poll shows 35 percent of Likud members support him, Netanyahu victory in primaries not a certainty.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/17/2012, 11:18 AM

Bibi Feiglin
Bibi Feiglin
Israel news photo

Moshe Feiglin, who is challenging Binyamin Netanyahu for leadership of Likud in the party's primaries two weeks from now, cited a favorable poll Tuesday morning as evidence that his chances of seriously embarrassing Netanyahu are high, and that a victory by Netayahu is not a complete certainty.

In a poll conducted by polling company Ma’agar Mochot, about 26 percent of Likud members not affiliated with Feiglin's faction agreed that "it is important to vote for Moshe Feiglin in the upcoming primaries, even though it is clear that Binyamin Netanyahu will win, just so that the right wing inside Likud will gain strength."

A press release from Feiglin's Jewish Leadership faction noted that the faction numbers about 9 percent of the overall Likud membership.

Adding the 26 percent who agreed with the statement cited above to those 9 percent, the faction explained that "this brings his total support to about 35 percent in the party, [with] Netanyahu at 51 percent, and 14 percent undecided or unsure."

According to the grassroots Likud website likudnik.co.il, Feiglin even has a chance of beating Netanyahu within the Likud Druze sector, which is known to be very right wing in its political leanings. Another grassroots site, likudshely.co.il, is reporting a widespread phenomenon of Netanyahu supporters refusing to turn out for him in protest, or even pledging to vote Feiglin in an act of defiance over Netanyahu’s refusal to legalize outposts in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu’s refusal to support a bill requiring nominees to Israel’s Supreme Court to undergo confirmation hearings by the Knesset has also angered the party base, as have his reported attempts to secure former Labor Party leader Ehud Barak a slot on the upcoming Likud Knesset roster.