Yesh Atid Sinks in Latest Polls

YERUSHALAYIM -

If Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid thought that his relentless push for passage of the chareidi draft bill would lift his popularity ratings he was mistaken, according to a new opinion poll.

If elections were held today, Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would win a mere 11 seats, eight less than the 19 it took in last year’s elections, the Politics Panels survey showed.

Likud-Beiteinu would strengthen, from 31 to 34 seats; Labor would become the No. 2 party, winning 19, up from 15; Jewish Home would increase from 12 to 14, and Meretz from six to 10.

The losers, besides Yesh Atid, included Shas, dropping from 11 to seven, and Tzipi Livni’s Movement party would decrease from six to four.

A simulation taking into account the just-passed electoral reform, which raises the threshold for representation in the Knesset from 2 percent to 3.25 percent of the overall vote, yielded fewer but larger parties in the next Knesset — 10 instead of the current 12 parties. Likud-Beiteinu was seen reaching 36, Labor 20, and Yesh Atid 12. Kadima and two Arab parties would not make it into the Knesset at all, failing to meet the 2 percent minimum.

However, it must be noted that the electoral reform is a new factor, and growing public awareness of it could cause significant shifts by the next election. There is also serious talk of the at-risk Arab parties running on joint lists.

In another poll, reported in The Times of Israel earlier this month, Lapid came in dead last in approval ratings for ministers —No. 23 out of 23 ministers.

Labor chairman Yitzchak Herzog apparently spoke for most Israelis when he declared on Sunday that Lapid has failed in his job.

“A year has passed since the elections without a single accomplishment,” Herzog said. “Not in the field of housing, not in the field of cost of living, not in economic inequality.”

WiQth an average approval rating of 4.19 out of 10, the most popular figure was Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, 5.89 on the scale.

The approval ratings for the rest of the ministers were: Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), 5.72; Home Front Defense and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, 5.27; and Interior Minister Gideon Saar in fourth place with 5.2. They were followed by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni with 5.17 and 5.02 respectively.