A new poll by the Smith Institute for "Globes" and "The Jerusalem Post" shows that the prime minister should take the social protesters seriously. Were elections held today, a new social party headed by the protesters would win more than 20 Knesset seats. Were Dafni Leef and her colleagues at the tent protest on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard to set up a new political party, it would have strong electoral potential reflecting the public's frustration with its government representatives.
A new social party would take 4-5 Knesset seats from opposition parties Kadima and 2-3 seats from Labor. It would also take 2-3 seats from the Likud and win 5 seats from floating voters. However, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman and his colleagues on the right can rest easy. A new center-left social party would not win support from haredi (ultra-orthodox) and religious parties United Torah Judaism, Shas, National Home, and National Union, reinforcing the impression that the religious right is not a party to the protests.
83% of respondents in the latest survey support the protesters, and believe that the protests should continue. 45% of respondents believe that the protest leaders should reach a deal with the government on a timetable to implement the protesters' demands. Almost 30% of the respondents believe that the protests should continue for a couple of more months, including mass demonstrations.
However, only 9% of respondents said that the protesters should organize a new political party that would run in early elections.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 3, 2011
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