Skip to main content

On Israel's left, Herzog is Livni's real electoral challenge

The ''anyone but Bibi'' trend sweeping Israeli politics lately might harm the Likud Party and help Labor and opposition leader Isaac Herzog, but according to polls it does not reduce the overall size of the right-wing camp.
Isaac Herzog (R), the newly elected head of Israel's left-of-centre Labour Party, speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX15ZO7
Read in 

The swift collapse in the percentage of respondents who supported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as their top candidate for the premiership in the latest opinion polls (Dec. 8-9) is a formative event in the 2015 elections. This is the first time in recent years that Netanyahu, the undisputed king of opinion polls as the most appropriate person to direct the state, is losing this advantage.

Ostensibly, this would seem to be wonderful news for the center-left bloc whose representative, Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog, is closing the gap vis-a-vis Netanyahu in the polls. According to a survey taken by Israeli TV Channel 10 News that was released on Dec. 9, support for Netanyahu as premier drops to only 23%, while Herzog leaps to 22%. This is a dramatic, close race and even though the duel is taking place only in the opinion polls, it has a tremendous effect on public opinion. On the conscious level, these results break Netanyahu's hegemony and, more so, in favor of a left-wing leader.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.