Olmert and Kadima Plummet, Netanyahu - Up

Arguably a record low in the history of political polling: Only 3% of the populace feels Olmert should continue to serve as Prime Minister.

Hillel Fendel ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

In probably the lowest show of support for an incumbent in the history of political polling, only 3% of the populace feel Olmert should continue to serve as Prime Minister.

The "New Wave Institute" poll, first reported on Channel Ten, shows that 57% of the respondents feel that new elections should be held.  If elections were held now, the survey shows, Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu would receive ten times more support than Olmert - 30% of the electorate.

Front-runner Netanyahu is followed by Labor's Ami Ayalon, with 18%. Only 1% support current Labor leader Amir Peretz for Prime Minister. Ayalon is the current favorite to win the race for leadership of the Labor Party, in a primaries vote to be held in May.

Netanyahu and other Likud members have been promoting the message that the Olmert government is all but doomed. "Most of the country has lost confidence in the government," Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday. "The nation wants either new elections, or at least a major change in the composition of the government." MK Gideon Saar (Likud), asked today what could save the Olmert government, said, "Nothing."

Netanyahu said that several former Likud members who joined Kadima now wish to return to the Likud.  He refused to name them, but said that contacts are underway. 

Some key non-politicians have also lost faith in Kadima - and some have re-joined the Likud. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's nephew Ya'ir Olmert has left Kadima, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livny's brother Eli - a Galilee surveyor and a Lt.-Col. in the reserves - announced this week that he was leaving Kadima and returning to the Likud.

Yet another blow to Prime Minister Olmert came from the direction of a Smith Institute poll commissioned by Ynet. The survey shows that in the much-publicized fracas between Olmert and State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, 58% believe the latter's version, while only 9% believe Olmert. Lindenstrauss had said that Olmert was working to delay the publication of the Comptroller's findings regarding the lack of Home Front readiness for last summer's war with Hizbullah.