Shaul Mofaz
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Shelly Yacimovich
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Poll: Mofaz' Kadima win boosts Labor's election chances
Yedioth Ahronoth survey says shift in Kadima's leadership has no bearing on Likud's political lead; but will allow Labor Party to win more Knesset seats

Could Shaul Mofaz' victory in the Kadima primaries truly change Israeli politics? A poll commissioned by Yedioth Ahronoth said Thursday that at this point, it is highly unlikely.


Mofaz beat former Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni in Tuesday's primaries, winning 62% of the votes. He declared that he will position the party as "the true alternative to Netanyahu's government," but the survey, conducted by Dr. Mina Zemach said that his victory actually serves to boost the Labor Party's position.


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Should elections be held today, Kadima, under Mofaz, would win 12 seats in the Knesset – the same as Yair Lapid's unnamed party. Should Livni join Lapid, his party will win 15 seats.


However, the constellation would give Labor 18 House seats, the survey found.


Still, the slight change in the balance of power in Israel's Center-Left will have little effect on Likud, as Netanyahu's party is still likely to win 29 Knesset seats.


Yisrael Beiteinu, however, is likely to lose one seat, leaving it with 13 mandates. Shas is likely to win eight mandates; Meretz is to win three seats and former Shas leader Aryeh Deri's party is to win two seats.


The poll concluded that the religious and Arab parties will share the remaining 21 mandates.


As for Tzipi Livni's political future: Some 18% of those polled said that she should join Yair Lapid, 28% said she should retire from politics and 29% said she should remain in Kadima and become Mofaz' wingowman.


Despite the shift in the party's leadership, 54% of those polled said they still believe that Netanyahu is best suited to be PM, while only 16% said Mofaz could lead the government.



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