In the 2009 vote, Kadima won the most parliament seats, 28 of 120, and had a chance to form Israel's government. But Livni couldn't marshal enough allies to put together a governing coalition and Netanyahu, head of the Likud, was given the task.
Kadima was sidelined to the opposition. Internally, too, it has suffered, with polls showing some former backers defecting to the Labor Party and others expected to line up behind a former television personality, Yair Lapid, who has announced plans to set up his own party.
Recent polls show Kadima would win just a dozen seats if national elections were to be held today, while Netanyahu and his hawkish allies would be well-placed to lead the government again.