New Poll: Kadima in the Lead

A poll conducted this week shows Kadima leading Likud 30:29 for the first time since campaigning began. Polls show 'right wing bloc' still leading.

Maayana Miskin ,

Livni, Kadima in the lead
Livni, Kadima in the lead
(File photo)

A Teleseker poll conducted for Maariv shows Kadima leading Likud for the first time since the election campaign began. If elections were held today, Kadima would win 30 seats while Likud would get 29, the survey found.

Analysts disputed the cause of the drop. While some said Kadima had surged ahead due to the popularity of its leader, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, others blamed Likud's drop in standing on “the post-Feiglin effect,” saying the Likud's decision to move Jewish Leadership faction head Moshe Feiglin down the list turned away tens of thousands of voters.

Feiglin said Friday that he believes Likud Chairman Netanyahu's decision to push him down the party list had repelled a huge number of potential voters. Voters left because “they could not tell the difference anymore between Likud and Kadima,” he explained.

Latest polls show Likud losing strength but most of them show that this support is not going to Kadima but to to Shas, Lieberman's 'Israel Our Home' and the Jewish Home. These polls show the "right wing bloc" as maintaining a solid lead over the "left wing bloc" despite Likud's losses. An independent website's 'poll of polls' which averages out the polls of the week shows Likud leading Kadina 31:26 despite the Maariv poll.

Netanyahu has said he plans to form a unity government with Kadima if elected.

However, Feiglin was optimistic, and said voters would return as they realize the Likud has many strongly Zionist candidates. “The simplest thing that the Likud can do [to win back voters] is to put me back in the place where Likud voters put me, back in slot number 20. But I believe that even if that does not happen, the results will be better than the polls right now,” he said.

Feiglin was optimistic about his own chances of victory as well, saying that even in slot 36 he stands a chance of entering the Knesset.

Polls have consistently showed Likud and Kadima in the lead, while Labor has dropped dramatically from its current 19 seats to between 8 and 11 seats. The left-wing Meretz party is expected to gain seats, as is the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home).

After announcing its party list following internal primaries, the Likud gained two seats in the polls, reaching 36 mandates, but dropped again following the rearrangement of its list to move regional representatives up while pushing Feiglin and others down. Prior to the primaries Netanyahu had warned that Likud would get 36 mandates without Feiglin, but only 30 if Feiglin were elected to a realistic spot on the party list.

Feiglin was pushed down after the Likud's court accepted an appeal filed by a candidate from the Netanyahu camp, who claimed that according to the Likud constitutuion, Feiglin's number 20 spot should be reserved for candidates from outside the national list.