Likud stays strong as Lapid wanes

The latest "Globes" poll finds Kadima faring poorly under either Tzipi Livni or Shaul Mofaz.

Irrespective of whether MK Tzipi Livni or MK Shaul Mofaz win the primaries to lead Kadima, the party would win no more than 13 Knesset seats, were elections held today, according to the monthly "Globes"-Smith Institute poll. While losing ground from the 28 seats it won in the 2009 elections, it is better than polls of recent weeks which suggested that the party would win only 7-9 seats.

Lapid's entry into politics two weeks has not changed the political map, but only succeeded in unraveling the center-left bloc. Three parties are now fighting to become the second largest party, but the gap between them and the Likud, which still floats above the fray with around 30 Knesset seats, is so great that none of their party leaders is relevant for the job of prime minister.

Meanwhile, Yair Lapid's gloss is wearing off. Although it is premature to declare that his momentum has stalled, the latest polls show him winning just 11 Knesset seats. The public may be waiting for the new candidate to state his economic and security positions and stop his correspondence on Facebook.

Lapid will have to realize that to achieve stature, he will have to sweat - and not in the country club gym at Ramat Aviv Gimmel. Maybe he should consult with his friend, Labor Party chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich, who can tell him about stalled momentum. Labor has fallen from winning 20 Knesset seats following her victory in the party primaries to 15 seats were elections held today.

Aryeh Deri has improved his position. Internal party polls gave him 4-7 Knesset seats; the "Globes"-Smith Institute poll gives him 10 seats as Shas voters in 2009 split their support. As Deri wins support from Likud and other voters, Shas is left with a core support of 6 Knesset seats.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 26, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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