Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat remains the front-runner in next month's mayoral race, but needs a high voter turnout among the non-haredi sector to win, a public opinion poll released this weekend found. The results of the poll, which came just two weeks after a Jerusalem court ruled that former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri was ineligible to run in the November 11 elections due to his past criminal convictions, showed haredi voters coalescing around United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush, who has gained ground in the last month but remains a distant second in the race. Barkat would garner 48 percent of the vote, compared to 36% for Porush, according to the poll in the Jerusalem weekly Yediot Yerushalayim. Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak remained at the bottom of the barrel, plummeting to just 6% of the vote. The newspaper's previous poll, which was carried out in August amid uncertainty over whether Deri would run in the race, put support for Porush at 31%. The survey was carried out before the fourth candidate in the race, Dan Birron of the Green Leaf Party - which supports the legalization of marijuana - announced his eleventh-hour candidacy. According to the poll, the secular and modern Orthodox public predominantly support Barkat, a self-made high-tech millionaire who has eagerly courted the non-haredi religious vote, while Porush, a veteran haredi legislator with a quarter-century of city and state government service, has the overwhelming support of the city's haredi residents. Among those surveyed, 88% of secular residents and 61% of modern Orthodox said they would support Barkat, while Porush received 89% of the haredi votes and 22% of the modern Orthodox vote. With one in three Jerusalem voters identifying as haredi, the haredi candidate has an overwhelming advantage in the city. To win, Barkat needs a strong turnout among secular and modern religious voters. Only one-third of non-haredi voters turned out to vote in the last elections, which Barkat lost to Mayor Uri Lupolianski by fewer than 20,000 votes. The polling in Yediot Yerushalayim tends to favor Barkat. Polling carried out before the last municipal elections erroneously predicted a Barkat victory. The Dahaf Institute poll, which surveyed 500 Jewish city residents, cited a margin of error of 4.5%.

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