Likud gains in Knesset according to pre-election poll


Yehuda Shlezinger

If a general Knesset election were held today, the Likud Party would win 32 seats, up from the 30 it currently holds in the Knesset, a new poll from Hadashot News has found. A similar poll in July projected that Likud would win 30 seats.

The latest poll found that Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party would receive 18 mandates, compared to the 11 seats it holds in the current Knesset, and would become the second-largest faction.

The poll also found that while Likud is rising in popularity, the Zionist Union, led by Labor leader Avi Gabbay, is declining. It was predicted to win just 12 seats, three fewer than in the July poll and half the 24 seats it holds in the current Knesset.

According to the poll, the Joint Arab List would hold steady at 12 mandates. It holds 13 in the current Knesset.

Habayit Hayehudi, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, would win 10 seats, up from the eight it currently holds, the poll showed. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu Party and United Torah Judaism would win seven seats each—a loss of three seats for Kulanu, but a gain of one for the haredi Ashkenazi Party.

Knesset member Orly Levy-Abekasis’ newly formed party and the left-wing Meretz would win six seats each, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu and Sephardi haredi party Shas would win five seats apiece.

The poll also tested what would happen if former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz was to form his own party and run in the election. It found that his party would win 12 seats, taking three from Likud, five from Yesh Atid, two from the Zionist Union and the rest from elsewhere.

Respondents were also asked who they felt was best qualified to serve as prime minister. Some 38 percent said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the best person for the position, while Gantz was a distant second, with 12 percent.

Only 9 percent of respondents said Lapid would make the best prime minister, 5 percent chose Lieberman, and 4 percent chose Gabbay.

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