'Likud poised to win 40 seats next election'

'Netanyahu will be PM for years to come,' Dep. Environmental Protection Minister tells Arutz Sheva. 'Now's not the time for him to retire.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Flash 90

More than a week after police recommended that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges stemming from the “Case 1000” and “Case 2000” investigations, a new poll shows that the Likud would actually gain seats if new elections were held today.

The poll, conducted by the Geocartography polling firm and published by Israel Hayom Wednesday shows the Likud gaining 4 mandates if new elections were held today, rising from 30 to 34 seats – a full 14 mandates ahead of the second largest party, Yesh Atid.

While other recent surveys show the Likud with fewer seats – with numbers ranging from the mid-to-high 20s to low 30s – they nevertheless reflect a definite trend towards the Likud – and away from the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid.

After winning 30 mandates in 2015, polling for the Likud dropped significantly, averaging 25 seats during 2016, and rising only slightly to an average of 26 seats in 2017.

During February, however, the Likud’s polling average has risen significantly. An average of five polls taken during February show the Likud with 29 seats – 7 more than its closest competitor, Yesh Atid.

According to Deputy Environmental Protection Minister Yaron Mazuz (Likud), that trend will continue through till the end of the present government’s term, scheduled for November 2019.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva Wednesday, Mazuz expressed his support for Netanyahu in spite of the police recommendations, adding that he believed Netanyahu would continue to serve as Prime Minister for years to come.

“Should he retire? God forbid,” said Mazuz. “Look at the last poll – the Likud gets 34 seats!”

“Why should he retire? Because every few days someone gets up and [makes an accusation] based on something he heard two years ago? In my opinion, Netanyahu will continue as Prime Minister for years to come.”

Mazuz added that the recent accusations against former Netanyahu aides suspected in a bribery case did not shake his faith in the Prime Minister, arguing that investigators appeared to have a political agenda.

“Every day there’s a new accusation. They’re not just going after the Prime Minister, but his family as well. It’s become really disgusting. The public understands this, and on election day, the Likud will top 40 seats.”