New poll shows Berkovitch narrowly leading Jerusalem race

Survey shows progressive secular candidate Ofer Berkowitz leading Zeev Elkin and Moshe Leon.

Tzvi Lev,

Elkin and Berkovitch
Elkin and Berkovitch
Hadas Parush/Flash90

With less than a month left to go before Israel’s local elections, the Jerusalem mayoral race remains tight, with a run-off vote likely between the top two candidates.

In the survey conducted by the Poalim Politics Institute that was commisioned by Walla, progressive candidate Ofer Berkovitch received the highest percentage of support with 22%, followed by Likud MK Zeev Elkin at 19%. In a distant third place is Moshe Leon, who in 2013 ran on the Likud ticket against incumbent mayor Nir Barkat, with 13% and haredi candidate Yossi Deitch at 12%.

Notably, 31% of the respondents said they had still had not decided who they would vote for. Among the undecided, Berkovitch leads Elkin with 32% to his 27%.

By law, a candidate needs to win at least 40% of the vote in order to become Jerusalem's mayor. Should no candidate reach 40%, the top two will go to a runoff.

Berkovitch's campaign hailed the results and predict5red that he would win the October 30 elections outright without needing a run-off.

"The public is fed up with deals. Only the 'Hitorerut' movement led by Ofer Berkovitch will work for all the residents of the city and lead Jerusalem confidently. Ofer Berkovitch is the next mayor," said a statement from his headquarters.

Berkovitch, who heads the Hitorerut B’Yerushalayim party (‘Wake Up Jerusalem’), was not initially thought of as a front-runner. But the crowded field, along with many candidates jockeying for similar slices of the electorate, has catapulted him to the front of the closely-watched race.




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