Stop the fearmongering: A Likud led by Feiglin would do as well as or better than one led by Netanyahuhe won't even be photographed with him.
Netanyahu and his cohorts have worked very hard to convince the Likud membership that a ticket headed by Feiglin would fare worse - much worse - than one headed by Netanyahu. Now, a new poll debunks that claim. The Likud led by Feiglin would do no worse in the upcoming elections than the Likud led by Netanyahu. Even Haaretz says so. Feiglin might even do better.
An internal Likud poll projects that if right-wing Likud Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin were to win the party’s leadership contest and lead the party in the upcoming Knesset election, Likud would get 18 seats in the 120-seat legislature, a showing identical to what the party has today, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The survey, which was conducted by the Ma'agar Mochot polling agency among a representative sample of 501 Jewish Israelis, was commissioned by party activists to gauge the prospects of Netanyahu’s rivals as heads of the party in the upcoming Knesset election. At this point Feiglin, who is on the right of the Likud spectrum, and Likud central committee chairman Danny Danon are the only two declared challengers to Netanyahu for the post of party leader.
“Today Likudniks understand that anyone can garner the seats that Bibi does for the party,” one party member said in reaction to the polling results, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.
“According to the [survey] results, Netanyahu’s ceiling could turn into Feiglin’s floor,” another Likud activist said in connection to the possible support for the two in the election. “From this point [Feiglin] could collect additional Knesset seats.”
The survey indicates that if Feiglin were to lead the party, some traditional Likud voters would drift to other parties while Likud would garner its support from more right-wing and religious voters. Feiglin would draw voters from the Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu parties, while the voters that Likud would lose would go primarily to Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid and a party expected to be established by former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon.
"The results of the poll aren't surprising," Feiglin said. "But they certainly highlight the most important question in these elections: Who can bring back the votes that have migrated to Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu.
"My leadership and the path that I represent" will draw voters back to Likud, he said.Maybe that's why Netanyahu is desperately trying to avoid new elections.