Support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has plunged to an all-time low due to the economic diktats the government announced this week.
For the first time since Netanyahu set up his second government in April 2009, the proportion of survey respondents satisfied with his performance has fallen to just 31 percent, while 60 percent expressed dissatisfaction.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz fared even worse in the Dialog survey, which was held in mid-week under the supervision of Professor Camil Fuchs. Over two-thirds of those interviewed - 67 percent - said they were not satisfied with his performance, compared to 19 percent who said the opposite.
The survey reflects a negative, angry state of mind toward the Netanyahu-Steinitz duo and leads to the conclusion that the government's socioeconomic agenda is an electoral disaster for Likud. Netanyahu is still seen as a candidate without rivals, but his position has weakened considerably.
In this atmosphere it is clear that Netanyahu has no interest in holding an early election. On the contrary, he will strive to put an election off as much as possible and change the government's agenda, so it focuses on strategic security-related issues ahead of an election.
The survey also implies that Netanyahu and Steinitz have failed miserably in marketing their economic policy. The public simply does not believe them and does not buy what they are selling regarding responsibility, leadership and balanced, necessary measures.
Until recently, the lowest grade of dissatisfaction with Netayahu registered in Haaretz-Dialog polls over the past three and a half years was 54 percent. The balance has been in Netanyahu's favor most of the time, peaking after Gilad Shalit's release and the Carmel fire.
Public support for Netanyahu started plummeting a few weeks ago, due to his treatment of the Tal Law issue and his siding with the ultra-Orthodox. A Haaretz survey conducted on July 8, less than a month ago, showed Netanyahu had lost 11 percent of the public support compared to the previous survey, and the satisfaction with his performance had plunged from 51 to 41 percent.
In this survey he continues to dive, losing 10 more percentage points in public support while the dissatisfaction with his performance rises steeply.