Victorious Yechimovich
Victorious YechimovichIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A new poll shows Labor’s new leader Shelly Yechimovich’s popularity will make the party the second largest – at the expense of Kadima, headed by Tzipi Livni.

Previous polls have showed that voters are shifting from Kadima to Labor, but the survey by“Dialogue,” published Monday, shows even more dramatic changes on the election horizon.

If electins were held today, the Likud collation would maintain its current strength of 65-66 Knesset seats, but Yechimovich would become the new Opposition leader.

Her rejuvenated Labor party would win 22 mandates, while Kadima would plummet from the current 28 seats to only 18.

Labor had 13 mandates until Ehud Barak quit this past summer and formed a new party, which so far has shown no chance of gaining representation in the next election set to be held in two years.

Yechimovich’s views have placed herself center-left in the political spectrum, with a concentration on social issues and less emphasis on the Arab-Israeli struggle.

Kadima supporters have shown strong disappointment with Livni, whose main policy has been to speak against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, regardless of the issue. Prior to his visit to the United States last week and even after his widely-viewed successful speech in the United Nations, Livni continued to attack him verbally instead of expressing national unity.

The latest survey bears out her mistake. Forty-one percent of the respondents in the latest poll expressed satisfaction with his performance, compared with only 32 percent last month.