Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will easily win leadership elections in the ruling Kadima party to replace embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, poll results showed on Thursday.
The survey in the daily Maariv showed Livni winning 49 percent of the votes among Kadima members, widening her lead over her closest party rival, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz. The poll showed Mofaz receiving 28 percent.
Support for two other candidates was in single figures. Previous polls showed Livni, Israel's chief negotiator with the Palestinians, with a lead of 8-18 percentage points over former military chief Mofaz.
The scandal-hit Olmert threw Israel into political turmoil by announcing last month he would stand down as prime minister after a Sept. 17 leadership contest.
Olmert would remain caretaker prime minister until his successor builds a new coalition, and officials have questioned whether Livni would be able to put together a new government.
Should the new Kadima leader be unable to form a coalition and snap elections were called, recent polls show Livni would be neck and neck in the vote with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister from the rightist Likud party.
Thursday's survey was taken among 400 Kadima voters with a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ağustos 2008, 11:11