Shelly Yachimovich voting 12.9.11 AP
Shelly Yachimovich voting in Tel Aviv in the Labor Party leadership race, September 12, 2011. Photo by AP

The largest opposition party Kadima said yesterday that the prediction of a Haaretz opinion poll that Labor would become the second-largest faction in the Knesset, was due to media preoccupation with the Labor primary.

MK Roni Bar-On (Kadima) told Haaretz yesterday that in addition to "intense" media interest in the Labor Party for the past three months, "of course public protest fits Labor and Yachimovich like a glove."

Meanwhile, Kadima MK Avi Dichter told Army Radio yesterday that he intends to run against Kadima chairwoman MK Tzipi Livni.

"Kadima must raise the banner of democracy and peace. People looking for a right-wing party and to invest in settlements or yeshivas should vote for the National Union, Shas or United Torah Judaism."

Dichter said former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had established Kadima because the Likud would not let him advance the peace process. "The survey also indicates that Yisrael Beiteinu would increase its Knesset seats from 15 to 18, the same number predicted for Kadima. We are on the right track," Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, said at a New Year's toast yesterday.

The poll also gave Meretz more seats in the next Knesset. MK Zahava Galon said the rise was because: "The wave of protest made clear to the public how true our warnings have been all these years," and the fact that Labor was appealing to voters "with a certain tendency to the right."