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Netanyahu poised for election victory in Israel: Polls

Jerusalem: Public opinion polls by two major Israeli dailies indicate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised for a clear victory in the upcoming parliamentary elections, with no serious contenders to replace him.

Thursday's polls in the Maariv and Haaretz were the first surveys undertaken since Netanyahu called this week for early elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

They show Netanyahu's rightist Likud party would remain strong with 29 seats in parliament.

The Haaretz poll suggests 57 percent of voters prefer Netanyahu remain premier. It indicates that if former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni entered the race, she'd be Netanyahu's greatest contender, but with only 28 percent of voters supporting her as prime minister.

Aides to former prime minister Ehud Olmert say he is considering a political comeback. But the polls suggest he would not unseat Netanyahu.

AP