“Lapid Soars in Israel’s Pre-Election Polls”
Al-Monitor, March 2, 2015
“Some of the key Israeli political parties ran internal polls at the end of February to examine the effect of the state comptroller’s report on the failure of the housing crisis. These polls repeatedly had interesting data regarding Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party. The right-wing parties — the Likud [headed by Benjamin Netanyahu], HaBayit HaYehudi [headed by Naftali Bennett] and Yisrael Beitenu [headed by Avigdor Lieberman] — showed a weakening trend, and the votes did not remain in the right-wing bloc. … It turns out that the votes have been seeping to the party of Lapid, finance minister until December 2014. … Even the Zionist Camp, headed by Isaac Herzog, has noted that voters are seeping away from it and toward Lapid. … How did he do it? Lapid is a disciplined campaigner and a gifted speaker. He has been operating in recent weeks like a well-oiled public relations machine. The former treasury minister submerged himself into the social networks and is a strong presence throughout the country in the large assemblies he organizes. … Simultaneously, with regard to the diplomatic sphere, the Yesh Atid chair still juggles the two political camps: to right-wing voters he hints that he would go with Netanyahu, and to the left-wing public he says there is no chance he would sit with the Likud.”
Quickie analysis: Tired of reading about Bibi today? Here’s an article about one of the candidates who has a shot at replacing him later this month. The article leaves open the question as to whether Lapid, a telegenic former news anchor, is more than just a political opportunist who is successfully channeling the electorate’s not-Bibi sentiment.