Olmert. Going down
Will Mofaz replace Olmert?
Following a slow recovery, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's popularity among the public is dropping, returning to the days after the interim Winograd Report was published.
A poll published Monday reveals that 59% of the public believe the prime minister should resign or suspend himself until the investigation against him is completed. Only one-third of the public believes he should stay in office.
According to the survey, sonducted by Yedioth Ahronoth and the Dahaf Institute headed by Dr. Mina Tzemach, 60% of the public do not believe Olmert's statement that he did not take a bribe, while 22% do believe him.
The prime minister is also perceived by the public as paralyzed in his ability to lead. Sixty percent of the public state that he is incapable of leading diplomatic moves due to the investigation against him.
The vast majority of the public expresses its trust in the law enforcement system. The respondents – a representative sample of 500 civilians – were asked to express their opinion over the claim that the police, the State Prosecutor's Office and the state comptroller are harassing Olmert. Seventy percent did not agree with this statement, while 26% said they believed it was true.
The survey shows that it is too early to pronounce Kadima dead. Should Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni head the party, she would defeat the Likud headed by Benjamin Netanyahu with 27 Knesset seats, compared to 23 Likud seats and 15 seats for the Labor Party.
Livni is also perceived by the public as the most suitable candidate to replace Olmert as Kadima's leader, leaving her opponents far behind. Kadima headed by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz will only receive 17 Knesset seats, while Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit will bring the party down to only 13 seats, not far from its situation in the polls today.
Other interesting figures revealed in the survey include Meretz gathering strength with eight Knesset seats, Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu dropping to eight seats, and businessman Arcadi Gaydamak receiving three mandates with his new Social Justice party.
The survey's maximal sampling error stands at 4.5%.