Amid speculation that elections for the Knesset are imminent, a poll released Sunday found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will retain his leadership after the next elections and will even receive more seats than he currently has.
The New Wave poll, which was carried out for the Yisrael Hayom newspaper, is in line with other polls recently released, all of which have shown that the Likud will maintain its power in the next elections.
The poll was conducted among 500 adult Israelis, including Arab Israelis, and found that that if elections were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 31 seats, four more than it currently has. Labor under Shelly Yechimovich would go up four seats and win 17 seats, while Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party would lose one seat, ending up with 14 Knesset seats.
The party which would drop the most, according to the poll, is Kadima headed by Shaul Mofaz. Kadima is currently the Knesset’s largest party with 28 seats, but the poll found that if elections were held today, it would drop to 13 seats. Former journalist Yair Lapid’s newly formed party would receive 12 seats.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence party is absent from the poll indicating, as previous polls have predicted, that he will not pass the electoral threshold.
Respondents to the poll were also asked who they believe is most appropriate to be the next prime minister. Here too, Netanyahu is the winner with 29.1 percent of support. Trailing behind him are Lieberman and Yechimovich with 9.2 percent each and Lapid with seven percent. Only 4.6 percent of respondents said they believe Mofaz is most appropriate to be prime minister.
Mofaz said on Sunday that the real battle in the next election will be between him and Netanyahu.
Speaking at a Kadima conference in Petah Tikva, Mofaz said, “All the other parties, even Yisrael Beytenu and Labor, do not have candidates for prime minister.”
He added added, “We will rally all the forces in Kadima. The Israeli public will have to decide between an alternative government under my leadership and the option that Netanyahu will be prime minister for another four years without providing an answer to Israel's urgent problems.”