Likud's next leader - Nir Barkat?

Barkat first entered the Knesset just 7 months ago, but he already outpolls competitors to succeed Netanyahu as Likud leader.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nir Barkat
Nir Barkat
Hillel Meir/TPS

A relatively new player could become the next leader of the Likud party in the post-Netanyahu era, according to Channel 12 News political commentator Amit Segal.

In his weekly column in Yediot Aharonot, Segal noted that former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has a wide lead in the polls for the party leadership if Netanyahu is not included.

"Without Netanyahu - Barkat leads in a big gap. This is a pretty amazing figure for someone who was a figure in Kadima and did not grow up in the usual circles where Likud's leaders come from," Segal write.

"Sa'ar gets points for courage in the Likud, but from the data it is clear that Barkat gets the most votes from angry Netanyahu supporters. Barkat does not upset anyone, so anyone who wants revenge on Sa'ar supports him. The media discuss Edelstein's chances of becoming prime minister, but Barkat gets more support than him, Katz, and Erdan combined.

"Barkat is like getting all the taste with none of the calories. Like his Likud rivals, he holds a decade of significant managerial experience, the mayor of Jerusalem, but unlike them he has no used-up image. In other words: he enjoys the experience, they suffer from it. The successful image, as well as the fact that he was only paid one shekel a year in the municipality and is not subject to temptations, will probably not hurt him in a Likud which is attempting to find its way in the aftermath of Netanyahu's cases.

"Barkat presents to the Likudniks the strong ties he created in the capital with religious Zionism and right-wing activists from eastern Jerusalem. It will be an enlightening spectacle: A Likud leader who was elected to the Knesset for the first time only seven months ago, even if because of the times he will soon be in his third Knesset," Segal concluded.