Poll: Party Headed by Israeli Journalist Yair Lapid Could Become Second-largest in Knesset

If Israel’s most popular news anchor Yair Lapid sets up a new party in the next elections, he could get 15 Knesset seats, he could potentionally form a coalition that would rival that of Netanyahu's Likud.

A new political party headed by Yair Lapid, Channel 2's Friday news anchorman, would become the second largest party in the Knesset, should the journalist decide to enter politics, a recent poll conducted by Israel Radio revealed on Thursday.

According to the poll, if Lapid chooses to set up a new party, it would receive 15 Knesset seats in Israel’s next elections, as opposed to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, which would receive 14 seats. Likud would remain the largest party in the Knesset, with 24 seats, and the Labor Party would tie in second place with Lapid’s party with 15 seats.

Yair Lapid
Nir Keidar

Kadima would lose the most seats in the next election, the poll results reveal, receiving only 10 seats as opposed to the 28 seats it received in the last election.

Read more on Yair Lapid's entry into the political realm:

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Neither Lapid nor Shalit deserves to be in politics

Moreover, the poll showed that should former Shas strongman Aryeh Deri set up his own party, he would receive 7 seats in the Knesset.

Should Lapid and Deri set up their parties and link with the center-left parties in the Knesset – such as Kadima, the Labor Party, Meretz, and the Arab parties, they would get 63 seats and a majority in the Knesset. On the other hand, the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties would get 57 seats, so in order to set up a coalition they would need to team up with one of the new parties or choose an exisiting centrist or leftist party.

Yair Lapid - whose late father, Yosef Lapid, headed the Shinui party and served as justice minister under Ariel Sharon - is said to have been considering going into politics since the 2009 general election, but has denied it whenever asked.