Poll: 65% of Israelis want unity gov't

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed want Barak as defense minister; 59% prefer direct voting system.

livni netanyahu both in sign gr8 248.88  (photo credit: AP)
livni netanyahu both in sign gr8 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Nearly two-thirds of Israelis would like Kadima and the Likud to form a unity government, a survey conducted by Market Watch the day after last week's general election found. The survey was conducted among 498 Israelis who voted in last week's general election and ahead of the "Forming a Government" gathering scheduled to be held on Tuesday in ZOA House in Tel Aviv. According to the survey, 47 percent of the people questioned thought a day after the elections that Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu should form the next government, while 39% thought Kadima leader Tzipi Livni should, Sixty-five percent said they would like to see Kadima and Likud in a unity government and 54% of them, most of whom were Netanyahu supporters, said it should not be a rotation government. More than half of those surveyed said Labor should stay in the opposition, but 55% said they wanted its chairman Ehud Barak to keep the Defense portfolio. Only 20% said they would like to see former IDF chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) as the next defense minister and just 9% thought Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), also a former chief of General Staff and a former defense minister, should fill the post. Labor MK Avishay Braverman was favored by 27% to be the next finance minister, while Likud MK Silvan Shalom received the support of 25% and current Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) received the support of only 14%. Only 10% of those surveyed said they regretted whom they voted for after the results were published, with most of them being Labor and Habayit Hayehudi voters. Probably due to the uncertain victory in these elections, 59% of those surveyed said they preferred the direct voting system that allowed citizens to vote in two ballots, one for the candidate for premier and another one for their favorite party. The majority of those in favor were supporters of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. A total of 66% said they believed that the 18th Knesset would not complete its four-year term; 40% said that they believed that the next general election would be held within a few years. "The survey proves that most people don't think they erred in the way they voted and therefore another general election in the near future is not necessary," said Yigal Tzahor, the director of The Ideological and Educational Center of Berl Katznelson Fund, who initiated the survey and will host the convention in Tel Aviv. MKs Yoel Hasson (Kadima), Yossi Peled (Likud), Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) and Yitzhak Aharonovich (Israel Beiteinu) will participate in the convention on Tuesday.