Finance Minister Yair Lapid scored the lowest among the cabinet’s 23 ministers in a Panels poll sponsored this week by The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew sister publication, Sof Hashavua.
The poll of 505 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli population was asked to rate the job performance of all the ministers on a score of one to 100.
The average score given to the ministers was only 50.
Lapid scored only 40, five lower than the ministers who tied for the second lowest grade, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.
Finance ministers tend to score low in such polls, because they have to implement painful budget cuts and make difficult choices about the country’s priorities.
Nevertheless, Lapid’s last place finish was surprising considering that his Yesh Atid party did so well in the election less than a year ago.
The ministers who fared the best were Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon with a grade of 64, Education Minister Shai Piron (59), Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar (56), Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan (56) and Transportation Minister Israel Katz (55).
Israelis tend to respect their defense ministers, but Amir Peretz and Ehud Barak, in his second term, were clear exceptions. Ya’alon’s professionalism, mild manner, and modesty have worked in his favor. Piron scored points for shortening the summer vacation last week and Sa’ar for delaying the start of daylights savings time.
When the Post sponsored a similar poll three years ago, the ministers who fared best were then-communications minister Moshe Kahlon, who had just completed his cellular reform, and then-environment minister Erdan.
Kahlon used the poll to promote his political career and portray himself as a future candidate for prime minister.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tied for sixth with Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, at 53. The other ministers given positive grades of at least 50 were Health Minister Yael German (52), Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (50), Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (50) and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (50).
Several ministers fared significantly better among their party’s voters. For instance among Likud Beytenu voters, Netanyahu scored 73, 20 higher than among the general public.
Other ministers much more popular among their voters were Bennett, who scored a 77 among Bayit Yehudi voters, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (48 in the public, 69 among Hatnua voters), and Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman (47 among the public, 65 among Likud Beytenu voters).
There were five ministers who at least 25 percent of respondents said they did not know enough to grade: Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, Landver, Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach, Science and Technology Minister Ya’akov Peri, and Social Welfare Minister Meir Cohen.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Poll-Lapid-least-popular-among-ministers-334179