Poll: Barkat well ahead in Mayoral Race

A survey conducted by the newspaper Maariv has placed current Mayor Nir Barkat significantly ahead of his main challenger Moshe Leon.

Adam Ross ,

Barkat and Leon
Barkat and Leon
Flash 90

The poll shows incumbent Nir Barkat, who was elected mayor in 2008, with 44% of the share of the vote against 12% for his closest rival Moshe Leon.

Despite Leon being a religious candidate the Maariv poll also showed Barkat garnering around  55% of religious Zionist votes.

According to the poll, in the hareidi Ashkenazic community Leon seemed to have the upper hand with 28% against only 8% for the current mayor, however among Sephardic hareidi Jews, there was equal support for both candidates squared at 27% for each.

Moshe Leon, who has worked as an advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the past is attempting to unseat Barkat in the upcoming elections scheduled to be held October 22.

A successful businessman, Barkat first ran in the Jerusalem mayoral race in 2003, losing narrowly to hareidi candidate Uri Lupoliansky. He became head of the opposition on the city council, until the 2008 election when he garnered 52% of votes defeating his main rival Meir Porush who gained 43% of support.

While Leon has the support of Avigdor Lieberman and Shas head Aryeh Deri, Prime Minister Netanyahu has hesitated to support the official Likud Beyteinu candidate, instead reserving his support for Barkat.