Protesters - Reuters - 26072011
Protesters holding a vigil outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem last night, Photo by Reuters
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More than half the population is unhappy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the tent protest, according to a Haaretz poll conducted on Sunday. The poll also shows that an overwhelming majority of the public supports the protest and believes it stems from real distress.

Figures from the poll indicate that if elections were held today, both Kadima and Likud would lose four Knesset seats, while Labor would double its parliamentary strength.

Shas, the poll shows, would gain three Knesset seats, Yisrael Beiteinu would lose one and Ehud Barak's Atzmaut faction would not make it into the Knesset. Meretz would gain one Knesset seat, while Hadash and Ra'am-Taal would remain with the same number they have at present.

Asked whether the tent protest stemmed from real distress or was a political protest against the government, 81 percent of the respondent replied that it stems from real distress, while 87 percent said they supported the protest.

Only 9 percent of those interviewed said they did not support the protest and 4 percent had no opinion.

More than half the respondents, 54 percent, said they were not satisfied with the way in which Netanyahu was handling the crisis; 32 percent expressed satisfaction with the prime minister's performance, and 14 percent did not have an opinion either way.

According to the poll, 54 percent of the public is unhappy with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz's performance, while only 22 percent were satisfied with his work; 24 percent had no opinion.

However, only 26 percent of the public would like Netanyahu to fire Steinitz and appoint Minister Moshe Kahlon in his place; 37 percent would not like Steinitz to be replaced, while 36 percent had no opinion.

Some 55 percent of the respondents believe the tent protest will lead to a reduction in housing prices, compared to 31 percent who predicted it would not bring about any change; 14 percent failed to express an opinion on the subject.

Also in the poll, a sweeping majority - 85 percent of the public - supports the doctors' struggle to improve their conditions, while only 9 percent do not support the struggle and 6 percent have no opinion.