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Surge in Popularity

Yair Lapid Photo: Gil Yohanan
Yair Lapid Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Yesh Atid enjoys surge in popularity

Knesset Channel poll suggests that if elections were held today Likud-Beiteinu would drop to second largest party after Yesh Atid with 22 seats

Moran Azulay
Published: 02.21.13, 21:24 / Israel News

A new poll conducted by the Knesset Channel suggests that since Israel's January elections the Yesh Atid party has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity. According to the poll, had elections been held today, Yair Lapid's party would have won 30 Knesset seats and the Likud-Beiteinu's joint list only 22.

 

Conducted by the Panels Institute last week, the poll sampled 510 respondents and predicted that elections today would see Habayit Hayehudi landing 15 mandates, Labor 13 and Shas – nine Knesset seats.

 

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However, asked who they would like to see as prime minister, the majority (28%) replied Benjamin Netanyahu; 18% said Yair Lapid and 13% picked Labor's Shelly Yachimovich for the job. Bennett won 11% of the respondents' votes.

 

Respondents were also asked whether Yesh Atid should join a coalition with the haredi parties and 46% said it should not. Half of the respondents expressed support for Tzipi Livni's decision to join the coalition; 38% were opposed to the move.

 

Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that representatives of the Habayit Hayehudi and Likud-Beiteinu will meet on Friday in order to negotiate Habayit Hayehudi's possible place in the coalition.

 

Naftali Bennett's party said that their first demand would be to deny Livni the role of chief negotiator with the Palestinians. On Wednesday, Lapid slammed Livni for agreeing to divide Jerusalem and withdrawing from Ariel.

 

Discussing the coalition negotiations, Lapid wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday, "The coalition negotiations will not make us forget why we're here and what we won't compromise over. Anyone who says we'll ultimately fold just doesn't know us."

 

The Yesh Atid chairman hinted he is not desperate to get a cabinet seat. "The question is whether we'll sit in the government with our principles or in the opposition because of them. Right now the two options seem equally as likely and that's a shame. Why? Because Netanyahu could have formed a government two weeks ago, without breaking any sweat."

 

The Likud-Beiteinu has not invited Lapid for another meeting and the meeting with Bennett's team represents another effort to break the alliance between the two parties. Meanwhile, Bennett and Lapid appeared tighter than ever Thursday when they met with Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz.

 

 

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