How Did Kadima Lose Four Seats in One Week?

Poll shows Likud opens 8-seat lead over Kadima; Netanyahu favored as leader if Gaza violence resumes.

A Channel 2 election poll revealed on Wednesday that Likud has opened a significant lead over Kadima, which stands at eight seats.

According to the poll, in next month's general election Likud will win 30 seats, as opposed to 22 for Kadima. Labor under Defense Minister Ehud Barak wins 14 seats, as opposed to 16 in last week's poll.

Avigdor Lieberman's far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu has gained unprecedented popularity, and now wins 16 seats. Shas grows stronger too, and wins 11 seats.

It is yet to be determined to what extent the support for the Arab parties Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al has been influenced by Wednesday's Supreme Court decision to uphold their right to run. So far they win three and two seats respectively.

Another poll showed on Wednesday that Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is favored by the largest proportion of the voters to lead the country in case the violence in Gaza resumes. He wins the support of 34 percent of the people surveyed, as opposed to 17 percent that favor Tzipi Livni.