Just a few weeks ago he was the most popular politician in Israel, but according to a new poll released Tuesday, two thirds of Israelis do not believe that Yair Lapid has what it takes to lead the country. The poll by the Ma'agar Mohot polling organization said that Lapid's popularity was badly damaged by his ascent to Finance Minister, and his sponsoring of a budget that will see taxes raised on most middle class and working class Israelis.
The poll asked whether or not Lapid could succeed Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister. 66% of a representative sample of respondents said he could not, with only a 34% saying that he could, or should. Among Yesh Atid voters, only 34% said that their party's leader should be prime minister at some point, with 42% saying he was not the right person for the job.
Experts said that it was too early to count Lapid out for anything just yet; historically, finance ministers have built popularity only over time, and if during the coming years the economy improves – meaning that housing prices fall, inflation remains stable, and the job market remains brisk – Lapid could prove a very popular contender for Prime Minister.