Poll: Itzik beats Livni as most popular female politician

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik is Israel's most favored female politician, according to a recent survey on the public's attitudes toward the country's top women in office. The survey, conducted by pollster Yossi Vadana of Shvakim Panorama for Israel Radio, ranked Itzik ahead of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Minister-without-Portfolio Ruhama Avraham Balila and MKs Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) and Limor Livnat (Likud). The survey showed that appreciation for Itzik's parliamentary activities crossed party lines, including within the Labor Party, which Itzik left to join Kadima. Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Crystal said the survey indicated that Itzik has become an electoral asset for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. According to Vadana, the survey showed that the predominant perception that Livni was the only female politician with clout was not grounded in fact, and that Itzik has been found "worthy of the mantle of leadership." The survey was carried out among a representative sample of 491 Israelis.