Poll: 40% of Israelis Say Honesty Is Most Important Quality for PM

Haaretz survey finds Kadima would lose more than half of its Knesset seats if elections held today.

Forty percent of Israelis believe that honesty is the most important quality of a prime minister, according to a poll conducted this week by Haaretz-Dialog,

The poll, conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University's statistic deartment, also shows that 23 percent of the Israeli public wants a candidate for premiership "to worry about the country's security," while 19 percent believe the most important feature question is who will be able to advance peace talks.

Other results show that only about 10 percent of the public thinks a candidate should be capable of managing the country's economic situation.

The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, the days when American businessman Morris Talansky delivered his testimony in the investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Ehud Barak's press conference calling on Olmert to resign. Some 467 people were polled, with a margin of error of 5.1 percent.

The poll finds that if general elections were held today, the Kadima faction would lose half of its strength and win just 13 seats in the Knesset, as opposed to the 29 it currently holds.

Likud would triple the number of seats it holds, from 12 to 25, according to the pollm while the Labor Party would retain its current 19 seats.

Other parties results would be as follows: Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu would each hold onto their 11 current seats; National Union would lose four seats, leaving it with five; United Torah Judaism and Meretz would also hold onto their current standings, at 5 and 6 seats, respectively.

Also according to the poll, if elections were held today, Arcadi Gaydamak's Social Justice Party would win two Knesset seats.

In a poll conducted in April, Gaydamak's party would have gotten four seats. And, as in other previous polls, the Pensioners Party would fail to get its members into the next Knesset.