debkafile: Israel’s ruling Kadima begins to fade in opinion polls – 26 days before general election

The latest figure is 37 Knesset seats (out of 120), down from the 44 the new party claimed on Jan 5, when Ehud Olmert took over as prime minister from the ailing Ariel Sharon.
He has so far not filled the big shoes he occupies. His government and team are short of credibility for grappling with security and diplomatic crises as Israel faces a new wave of terror and Hamas’ international gains.
The opposition Labor party is stationary at 19. Its leader, Amir Peretz, goes to meet Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Thursday, March 2. He is working hard to broaden his trade union image as a more statesman-like figure, but he too reflects a lack of security experience.
Likud is inching up to 15 seats under the influence of opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu’s anti-corruption reforms. Wednesday night, he persuaded the party’s 3,000 central committee members to relinquish by an overwhelming majority vote their prerogative to elect the Knesset faction in future and pass it to the full registered membership. Netanyahu has also unveiled a platform for national electoral reform introducing partial regional balloting instead of the current proportional system. Netanyahu is still bedeviled by the savage welfare cuts he made as finance minister in the previous government and the high poverty level they engendered.
As for the lesser parties: the merged National Union-National Religious Party is looking optimistically at 11 seats, the ultra-religious Shas – 10, Avigdor Lieberman’s Russian-dominated Israel Beitenu – 7; left-wing Meretz – 6. Six too for United Tora Judaism; Arab-led communist Hadash – 4; Islam fundamentalist United Arab list-Taal – 3; and Arab Balad – 2.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email