Poll: Lapid tops Netanyahu, PM's approval rating at 35%

The Likud would lose to Yesh Atid if elections were held today, poll says, with PM's approval rating underwater at just 35%.

David Rosenberg,

Yair Lapid, Binyamin Netanyahu
Yair Lapid, Binyamin Netanyahu
Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/Flash 90

Yesh Atid chairman and former Finance Minister Yair Lapid would defeat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party if elections were held today, according to a new poll published Friday.

The poll, conducted by the Panels agency on March 18th, shows low approval ratings for Netanyahu, with just 35% of Israelis approving of his service as Prime Minister, compared to 59% who disapprove. Just 9% said they were very pleased with Netanyahu, compared to 33% who said they were not pleased at all.

If new elections were held, the survey claims, Yesh Atid would become the largest party, catapulting from the 11 mandates it won in 2015 to 28 seats.

The Likud, by comparison, would fall from 30 seats to 25.

The Jewish Home party, which won 8 seats in 2015, would rise to 13, tying the predominantly Arab Joint List party as the third largest party.

Following a trend in recent polls, the Zionist Union party, currently the second largest faction in the Knesset, would plummet from 24 seats to just 10.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party would also drop significantly, falling from 10 seats to 7.

Shas would lose one seat, falling from seven to six, while the United Torah Judaism party would gain one mandate, rising from six to seven.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu would remain stable with six mandates, while the far-left Meretz party would retain the five seats it won in 2015.

While Lapid would, according to the poll, win the most seats, he would still struggle to cobble together a coalition, with the combined strength of the parties in Netanyahu’s present government falling by just three seats, from 67 to 64. To form a stable coalition, Lapid would need to win over not only the left-wing parties and centrist Kulanu, but also Yisrael Beytenu and at least one of the haredi parties.

On Sunday Lapid declared that he would not be willing to include the Joint List party in his government.

A total of 572 respondents were included in the poll, which has a margin of error of 4.3%.




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