Monday, January 9, 2012

Warming up towards Elections? Lapid and Shalit enter politics, Likud maintains majority

Veteran Israeli journalist Yair Lapid has left his job as a Israel's Channel 2 Friday evening news anchor to enter politics.

It is expected that Lapid, who made the announcement Sunday, will form his own independent party with a liberal bent.

Polls have shown that a Lapid-led party could garner the second most votes in a Knesset election, behind Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, and that it would likely take the most votes away from the Kadima Party.

Meanwhile, Noam Shalit, father of Gilad Shalit, who was released from captivity in Gaza in October, announced Monday that he would run for a place on the Labor Party list for the next Knesset elections.

“Following years of a public battle, during which I got to know Israel society deeply, both its beautiful and ethical sides, I have decided to join public life,” he told reporters.

Earlier this week, Channel 10 reported on a poll that was commissioned by the Dialogue Institute. According to the poll, Netanyahu wins the most support (36 percent) as most suitable for the office of prime minister among the current heads of Israel’s four largest parties. Trailing him substantially is Shelly Yachimovich (17%), followed by Lieberman (14%) , and lagging behind is Livni (13%).

A survey conducted by Maagar - Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting Institute Ltd. commissioned for The Orly & Guy Morning Program - Channel 10 TV and conducted by telephone on 8 January 2012 in the afternoon and evening after Yair Lapid announced he is entering politics,showed the National camp with a majority of 66 seats if elections were to be held today, yet should raise some eyebrows in Likud, if one party decides to switch sides, and join the Lapid/Labor left-center coalition.

Full Poll results (current Knesset seats in [brackets]:

12 [28] Kadima headed by Livni
27 [27] Likud
14 [13] Labor headed by Shelley Yichimovitz
02 [---] Ehud Barak Independence Party
07 [---] Party lead by Yair Lapid
05 [---] Party lead by Arieh Deri
07 [11] Shas
17 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
04 [03] Jewish Home/NRP)
06 [05] Yahadut Hatorah
03 [03] Meretz
05 [04] National Union
11 [11] Arab parties

National camp total: 66 Left: 43 Arabs: 11