Poll shows Likud at head of the pack

Netanyahu-led party would get 35 seats; Kadima would win if Livni leader.

netanyahu good pic 298.8 (photo credit: AP [file])
netanyahu good pic 298.8
(photo credit: AP [file])
If elections were held today Likud, under Binyamin Netanyahu's leadership, would be the overwhelming victor, a new poll showed Friday in a new sign of Israelis' deep dissatisfaction with their leaders. The poll in Maariv showed the Likud winning 35 seats easily defeating Kadima. Kadima would see its power drop more than 50 percent to a meager 13 seats in the theoretical election, and Labor would also get 13 seats, the poll showed. The survey was carried out by the TNS Teleseker polling company. Pollsters surveyed 460 people, and the margin of error was 4.5 percentage points. The poll indicated that the Likud owed its success less to a rise in hardline sentiment than to the personal unpopularity of Olmert and Peretz. The poll showed that if Kadima and Labor changed their leaders, their fortunes would change as well. If Kadima replaced Olmert with Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, Kadima would beat the Likud and win the election, though just barely, the poll indicated. If Labor replaced Peretz with either former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon or former prime minister Ehud Barak, it would win several more seats than the 19 it has today, the poll showed. Barak and Ayalon are the two favorites to oust Peretz and take control of the party in a May primary.