Livni fails to take off - poll

Tzipi Livni's new party has no mass appeal, the right has strengthened, but Benjamin Netanyahu's fears about Likud's list prove well-founded.

Although Tzipi Livni flew to the Saban Forum in the US yesterday, in Israel she is finding it hard to take off. Two days after she announced the formation of the Hatenuah party, the poll conducted by the Rafi Smith research institute for "Globes" and "The Jerusalem Post" gives her just six projected Knesset seats. If those who claim that the number of seats a candidate gains in the polls after announcing that they will run represents the peak are correct, then Livni hasn't got far to fall. Without a party list, and with Olmert working hard against her, if Livni nevertheless wants a political future, she will have to reconsider the idea of joining up with Shelly Yachimovich or Yair Lapid, who loses three projected seats because of her.

Lapid and Livni have thus far demonstrated clean hands, and a desperate lack of political experience in their actions and statements. Someone this week suggested that they should have learner driver plates on their cars until they get wise and understand that they must hang together or they will hang separately. The pressures on them will keep rising as the date for submitting party lists of candidates next week draws near. If they really want to replace Netanyahu, they will have to find the formula. If not, on January 23, the morning after the election, the rivalry between them will turn into a race to see who can crawl fastest into Netanyahu's government.

The "Globes" survey proves Netanyahu's fears well-founded: the list selected by registered Likud members this week is not attractive. Likud has fallen to 37 projected seats because of its extreme list. The fact that Dan Meridor and Benny Begin are out, while Danny Danon, Zeev Elkin, Tzipi Hotovely and Moshe Feiglin are in, is starting to have its effect. It's impossible to know whether or not this effect will become permanent, but Likud's great good fortune is that it has no-one up against it. Not even Livni.

All now depends on what happens in the Labor Party. The "Globes" survey gives it 20 seats, but if Yachimovich manages to bring to the election a balanced list, she might perhaps be able to attract the soft Likud vote, and take those voters that would have wanted Begin and Meridor, and now have no-one to vote for.

Poll results

The results show the projected number of seats for each party in the first column according to the current survey, followed by the number of seats in the previous survey at the end of October, and, in parentheses, the number of seats in the current Knesset.

Likud-Beytenu 37, 37 (42)
Labor 20, 22 (13)
Shas 11, 12 (11)
Habayit Hayehudi 11, 9 (7)
Yesh Atid 10, 13 (-)
Hatenuah 6, - (-)
United Torah Judaism 6, 6 (5)
Meretz 5, 5 (3)
Am Shalem 3, - (-)
Hadash 4, 4 (4)
National Democratic Assembly 4, 4 (4)
Ra'am-Ta'al 3, 3 (3)

Kadima, currently the largest party in the Knesset, fails to pass the threshhold number of votes to win any seats in the current poll.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 29, 2012

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

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