Party led by Yair Lapid would win 14 seats, poll says

Party would be Israel's third largest after Likud and Kadima.

A party led by journalist Yair Lapid would win 14 seats in the next general election and would become Israel’s third largest party after the Likud and Kadima, according to a Shvakim Panorama poll broadcast Thursday on Israel Radio.
The poll, which had a 4.5 percent margin of error, asked a representative sample of 483 Israelis who they would vote for, were the elections moved up today from its currently set date of October 22, 2013.
According to the poll, the Likud would win 24 seats, Kadima 18, Lapid’s party 14, Israel Beiteinu 13, Shas 12, Labor nine, United Torah Judaism, six, Habayit Hayehudi, five, the National Union, four, Meretz, three, and the Arab parties 12.
The Lapid party’s seats came from multiple parties, but more than half of its prospective voters, representing eight of the 14 seats, said they voted for Kadima in the last election.
A year and a half after the death of Shinui leader Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, his son Yair, who followed him into journalism, is under pressure to also follow him into the political arena.
Lapid anchors the top-rated Channel 2 newsmagazine Yoman and writes the leading column in the weekend magazine of the largest circulation newspaper Yediot Aharonot.
People who have spoken to him said that leaving those plum jobs would be a great risk, but he is concerned about the future of the country, and he believes he may have to take the plunge into politics to really change things.
Lapid told interviewer Ilana Dayan recently that he would decide whether to run for Knesset “one minute before the elections.”
Kadima officials said that they were trying to recruit Lapid to their party. He has met on multiple occasions with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and he also was seen recently with former IDF chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, who is expected to run for the next Knesset with Kadima.
The poll found that 43% of Israelis saw Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fit to hold his post, while 31% said Livni was fit to be prime minister.
Netanyahu was much more popular in his own party than Livni. While 88% of Likud voters said Netanyahu was fit to lead the country, 30% of Kadima voters said Livni was unfit.