Polls show Likud headed to victory in Israel

Polls show Likud headed to victory in Israel

Jerusalem: A pair of polls show Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline Likud party cruising to victory in Israel’s 10 February elections.

Polls published in the Haaretz and Yediot Ahronot dailies both indicate Netanyahu has opened a substantial lead over his main opponent, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the moderate Kadima party. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, head of the Labor party, lags far behind.

Elections were set into motion in September when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned amid corruption charges and his deputy, Livni, was unable to form a coalition government of her own.

Livni has been Israel’s chief peace negotiator with the Palestinians for the past year. Netanyahu opposed ceding war-captured land as part of a peace deal.