Half of Israelis want Netanyahu out, poll says
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Half of Israelis want Netanyahu out, poll says

While 53% want a new prime minister, voters are divided on who might be a worthy successor

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at a press conference for foreign media in Jerusalem, on December 17, 2014. (Emil Salman/POOL/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at a press conference for foreign media in Jerusalem, on December 17, 2014. (Emil Salman/POOL/FLASH90)

Just over half Israelis would like to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replaced after March elections but, paradoxically, he is seen as most suitable for the job, an opinion poll said Thursday.

Israelis go to the polls on March 17, just over two years after Netanyahu’s right-leaning coalition took office and following a spat in which the premier fired two ministers.

The survey conducted by the Dialog Institute and published by Haaretz newspaper showed that 53 percent of those polled do not want Netanyahu to win a third consecutive term in office, his fourth nonconsecutive term.

Nevertheless, 34% agreed that the incumbent and head of the right-wing Likud party is the most credible candidate and the most capable to be prime minister.

Coming a distant second, at 17%, was Labor party head Isaac Herzog.

The survey also said Likud could end up neck and neck with an alliance of Labor and the centrist party Hatnua of former justice minister Tzipi Livni, one of the two cabinet members sacked by Netanyahu.

In that case each would secure 21 seats in the 120-strong Knesset, said Dialog, which had given Likud 24 seats in a survey published three weeks ago.

A poll published by the Maariv newspaper last week said the Labor-Hatnua alliance could gain 23 seats against 21 for Likud.

A total of 505 people were polled by Dialog in the latest survey, which has a margin error of 4.2 percentage points.

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