Ma’agar Mochot (brain trust) poll conducted for the Channel 10 morning news program Tuesday reveals that the “Likud Beiteinu” list has preserved its wide lead over everyone else in the running. At the same time, former Kadima chair Tzipi Livni, who is about to announce her run at the helm of a new, center-left party, today at noon, Israel time, will receive as many as 9 seats, while the former king of the center-spot, journalist and TV host Yair Lapid, is crashing.
If the elections were held today, according to MM, the Likud-Beiteinu block would get 37 seats, which is 5 short of its current combined strebgth in the outgoing Knesset. Labor would get 20 seats, Shas 14, and Jewish Home, the National Religious party, 9 seats.
Tzipi Livni, who was deposed by Shaul Mofaz from the leadership of the Kadima party, is expected to announce a comeback at a press conference today, and the poll already gives her 9 seats, at the expense of prime minister wannabe Yair Lapid, whose list “Yesh Atid” (There is a future), whose future now appears murky with a mere 5 seats (down from 11 and 13 in earlier polls).
Mofaz and Kadima are not expected to make it into the Knesset this time around.
The Jewish far-left would maintain its 3-seat hold.
At the same time, should Tzipi Livni announce today that she will be running on the Labor list, then Likud-Beiteinu gets 38 seats, the fortified Labor goes up to 25, and Yair Lapid gets 8 seats.
Clearly, Tzipi Livni has a lot more to gain from running on her own, with eyes at a possible coalition government with Labor.
But, alas, such a coalition could not happen in the foreseeable future, not based on this morning’s poll, since the right-wing block is expected to collect 70 seats, based on today’s poll, while the center-left, including the Arab lists, would have 50 seats at most.
Surprisingly, 44 percent of those asked said they think Ehud Barak should stay on as defense minister, as opposed to 39% who’d like to see someone else in that post.