Updated: October 15, 2013
It’s the world against Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid’s party. Just a couple of months ago Lapid was bold enough to publically state that he wants to be Prime Minister- to succeed Netanyahu- but today his chances seem somewhat diminished. As you can see in our table of recent polls, his party is struggling and losing votes, and this is also affecting him personally. A recent Smith poll found that just 3% of the voters believe Lapid is fit to be Prime Minister, while Netanyahu got a 54.2%. In the latest Panels poll Yesh Atid declined to 10 mandates (it now has 19), and according to both Smith and Panels, it is the fourth largest party (it is the second largest party in the current Knesset). Recent polls give the rival Labor Party 15-20 mandates (the most recent one gives it 17). So Yesh Atid is losing votes to Labor on the left, and possibly to Habayit Hayehudi on the right as well.
This is exactly what Netanyahu wanted to happen when he basically forced Lapid into becoming Finance Minister (an inherently unpopular position in Israel). But Lapid can’t only blame Netanyahu for his losses, as his own behavior has contributed a lot to his diminished stature as well. His Facebook blunders, his inability to adjust to his new status as policy maker rather than commentator, his arrogance – all these have made him increasingly vulnerable to attacks.
And the attacks keep on coming relentlessly. Listening to his rivals – especially to the leaders of Labor and leftist Meretz - one might think that Lapid is the Prime Minister. They spend much more time trying to discredit Lapid than they do on opposing Netanyahu. That’s reasonable: these two parties can’t take votes away from Netanyahu and the Likud, but they have good reason to believe that the Lapid vote is theirs to grab. And it’s working. Working for Labor, which is now the number two party in most polls, and also working for Meretz, which in the four most recent polls got 11, 12, 9, and 12 mandates (compared to the six it has today). If you look at our tracking of political blocs in the table, it’s all there: the decrease of the centrist parties, and the gradual increase of the left bloc- an interesting development that might become even more interesting with the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian talks in the coming months.
All right: Likud Beiteinu+Habayit Hayehudi+Strong Israel
All center: Yesh Atid+Hatnua+Kadima
All left: Labor+Meretz+Hatnua
All religious: Jewih Home+Shas+Yahadut Hatorah+Am Shalem
All Arab: Hadash+Raam Taal+Balad
*Current Coalition: Likud Beytenu+ Yesh Atid+ Habayit Hayehudi+Hatnua (currently 68 Mandates)
Click here For the full table (featuring all the polls since the elections).