Politician Who Rose to Fame With Cellular 'Revolution' Would Win 13 Seats, Poll Shows

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Moshe Kahlon.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Moshe Kahlon, who became the rising star of Israeli politics by forcing competition and reasonable prices on the cellular phone industry, would win 13 Knesset seats today as the head of his own party, according to a poll published Thursday.

Globes reported that the latest Globes-Smith Institute survey shows Kahlon drawing voters away mainly from Yesh Atid, Hatnuah and Shas, but also cutting into Habayit Hayehudi and Labor's support, and even snatching a seat from Meretz.

However, the poll showed that the lapsed Likudnik, who shocked the political arena by withdrawing from last year's election – saying he wanted to take a break – would not hurt the fortunes of Likud-Beiteinu. The ruling party, according to the poll, would get 36 seats today, five more than it won in the February 2013 election.

Kahlon is a right-winger on settlements and security, having sacrificed a cabinet post over his opposition to Ariel Sharon's disengagement from Gaza. But he is progressive on social issues, which gives him a unique niche among frontline politicians. But it was the cellular "revolution" he fashioned as communications minister at the start of the decade, together, perhaps, with his photogenic smile, that make him an electoral threat.

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