A poll published Thursday evening shows the Jewish Home party at its strongest since the last elections, with 15 Knesset seats – up from the 12 it currently has. Yesh Atid would have the same number of MKs, 15, down from its current 19.
The poll was carried out by the Rafi Smith Institute for Globes. Jewish Home has polled at 10-13 MKs until now, in the last few months' Smith polls.
Likud received 34 seats in the latest poll (compared with 31 in the current Knesset), Labor is at 17 (compared to 15 currently), Meretz has 9 (6 in the present Knesset) and Hatnua does not pass the threshold, losing all six of its existing MKs.
However, if former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon runs at the helm of a new party, the breakdown would be – Likud 23, Labor 15, Jewish Home 13, Yesh Atid 11, Yisrael Beytenu 9, Meretz 9, Shas 7, UTJ 7, Hadash 4 and Arab parties 8.
A result like this would make it possible for Kahlon, who took a break from politics before the last elections, to decide who becomes the next ruling party. If he sides with Labor, Labor could garner enough seats to establish a ruling coalition, together with the hareidi parties.
Another new poll has found that the government's most left-leaning ministers, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid and Hatnua chairperson Tzipi Livni, are also the least popular. The poll found that 61% of the public dislike Livni, while 32% are pleased with her, and 60% dislike Lapid, while 31% are pleased with him, reports ThePost.co.il.
The most popular politician in Israel, according to the survey, is Kahlon. A full 50% of Israelis like Kahlon, as opposed to 20% who do not.
The poll was carried out by US-based First International Resources, with the cooperation of pollster Joel Benenson, and encompassed 1,038 people.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in second place after Kahlon with a 46% favorable and 49% unfavorable vote. He was followed by Labor party head MK Yitzchak Herzog, with 43% favorable and 35% unfavorable.