Kadima would win the same number of seats in the next Knesset regardless of
whether the party is led by incumbent Tzipi Livni or her main challenger,
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz, a Smith
Research poll found on Thursday.
The poll, taken for the Globes business
daily, found that if an election were held now, either Livni or Mofaz would win
Kadima 13 seats, down from its current 28. But while under Livni, the
overwhelming majority of Kadima voters would be people who cast ballots for the
party in the last election, Mofaz would bring Kadima new supporters from the
Likud, Labor, Shas and Israel Beiteinu.
Polls taken just a week before
found that Livni would bring Kadima four or even five more seats than
“This is just the beginning and we will only rise,” a source close
to Mofaz said.
The poll of 500 respondents was conducted on Monday and
It predicted 30 seats for the Likud.
Five parties would
each obtain 10-15 seats: Labor, Israel Beiteinu, Kadima, former journalist Yair
Lapid’s new party and Shas. If former Shas leader Arye Deri would form a party,
it would win 10 seats and leave Shas with only six.
The Kadima council
began the process of approving its March 27 primary at a meeting on Thursday
night, at the party’s headquarters in Petah Tikva. In a surprise move, speeches
by the candidates were canceled.
Behind the scenes, representatives of
the candidates bickered over the makeup of the party’s election
Livni succeeded in passing a proposal requiring that the
committee include two women and that representatives of MKs Avi Dichter and Meir
Sheetrit be forced to leave the committee if they end up not running for party
“We are proud that we reached such agreements,” a Livni associate
said. “After Livni wins the primary, the losers won’t be able to have excuses.”