Minister Zeev Elkin leads J'lem mayoral race

Poll: Likud minister leads rivals in upcoming Jerusalem mayoral election, including in possible run-off election.

David Rosenberg ,

Zeev Elkin
Zeev Elkin
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) would win the Jerusalem mayoral election if the vote were held today, a new poll shows, with fellow Knesset member and former deputy mayor Rachel Azariya in a distant fifth place.

In late May, Elkin announced he would run in this October’s election for mayor of Jerusalem, joining a crowded field of candidates, including fellow Likud member Moshe Lion, who won 43% of the vote in his bid to unseat incumbent mayor Nir Barkat in 2013.

The announcement came two months after incumbent Mayor Nir Barkat announced that he would not seek a third term.

Deputy Mayor Yossi Deutsch from United Torah Judaism, City councilman Ofer Berkovitch, who heads the Hitorerut B’Yerushalayim party (‘Wake Up Jerusalem’) have also announced their candidacies.

In addition to Elkin, two other MKs have also announced plans to run for mayor – coalition MK Rachel Azariya (Kulanu), and opposition MK Nahman Shai (Zionist Union).

According to a poll of 603 Jerusalem residents conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs, Minister Elkin is predicted to win this October’s election, including a run-off vote should he be denied an absolute majority in the first round of voting.

The poll, released on Friday, shows Elkin leading the pack with 27% of the vote, compared to 23.5% for Ofer Berkovitch, 18.1% for the haredi candidate Yossi Deutsch, and 17.5% for Moshe Lion. Rachel Azariya is projected to win just 6.2% of the vote, compared to 2.7% for Nahman Shai.

If the race were narrowed down to the top three candidates – Elkin, Berkovitch, and Deutsch – Elkin would win with 36.8%, compare to 33.2% for Berkovitch, and 30.0% for Deutsch.

In the event of a run-off against Berkovitch, Elkin would win by a wide margin – 61.8% to 38.2%. In a run-off against Deutsch, Elkin would win by a slightly narrower margin – 61.2% to 38.8%.