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Poll predicts Kadima won’t make voting threshold

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(JTA) — A new poll of Israeli voters indicated Kadima may not make Israel’s voting threshold of 2 percent in the upcoming elections. 

The poll, which the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot commissioned from the Mina Tzemach polling company and published on Friday, is based on the responses of 500 voters and has an error margin of 3.5 percent.

Founded in 2005 by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the centrist party is currently Israel’s largest party with 28 seats in Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

According to the poll, Kadima would not cross the threshold regardless of whether Moshe Kahlon, a popular former Likud minister, decided to form a new party ahead of the elections, set for Jan. 22. Kahlon said over the weekend that he was taking a break from politics and was backing Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the party’s chairman.

The poll had predicted that a new party led by Kahlon would receive 13 seats at the expense of parties across the board, including five of Likud’s predicted 35 seats.

Two weeks ago Kahlon, a former communications minister who is credited in Israel with revolutionizing the communications industry to the consumer’s benefit, said he was quitting politics.

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