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Israeli want Netanyahu out but don’t see better choice: Poll

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Most 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, for four in total.

Nevertheless, 34 percent 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 percent, was Labour party head Isaac Herzog.

The survey also said Likud could end up neck and neck with an alliance of Labour and the centrist party HaTnuah 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, parliament, said Dialog, which had given Likud 24 seats in a survey published three weeks ago.

A poll published by Maariv newspaper last week said the Labour-HaTnuah 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. SAPA

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