Survey Predicts Sweeping Victory for Ron Huldai in Tel Aviv Mayoral Race

Despite Labor candidate's expected sweeping win, Meretz faction due to be strengthened by Nitzan Horowitz's candidacy.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
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Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

A new poll predicts an impressive victory for incumbent Ron Huldai in Tel Aviv's October 22 mayoral race. According to the Rafi Smith Institute poll conducted for the Labor Party - which supports Huldai - were municipal elections held today, Huldai would receive 53 percent of the votes, while Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who heads his party's electoral slate in these elections, would receive only 26 percent. Council members Aharon Maduel, Reuven Lediansky and Sami Abu Shehadeh would net only one percent each.

Despite the wide gap in the mayoral race, Horowitz's candidacy stands to strengthen the Meretz faction in the city council. Meretz, according to the poll, will double its strength in City Hall from three councillors to six. The survey predicts that Huldai's slate, One Tel Aviv, will increase its number of council seats from five to six, while Labor's independent electoral slate for Tel Aviv-Jaffa's city council will receive two seats, and City for All's presence will drop from five to only two.

The survey, which was conducted two weeks ago, was one of the reasons that Labor's municipality committee decided to run an independent slate and to sever itself, for the first time in 20 years, from Huldai's list. At any rate, Labor is supporting Huldai for mayor.

Of those respondents who polled for Meretz, 30 percent said they would vote for Huldai for mayor. However, 20 percent of supporters of Huldai's city council slate said their choice for mayor was Horowitz. The survey indicates that the trends that characterized the contest between Huldai and Hadash MK Dov Khenin in 2008 are still in place: Huldai is widely supported by residents of north Tel Aviv and by older residents, while in the center of town and among young voters, Horowitz is the favored candidate.

A large majority (75 percent ) of respondents said that they were "very happy" or "fairly happy" with the council's performance.

In a poll conducted last April for Meretz by Dialog, under the supervision Tel Aviv University Prof. Camil Fuchs, the gap between Huldai and Horowitz was narrower, with Huldai winning 50 percent and Horowitz getting 33 percent of votes. In the wake of that survey and following meetings with political figures and local residents, Horowitz decided to run for mayor.

Ron Huldai. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
MK Nitzan Horowitz.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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