Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netnayahu at 2018 Bible Quiz
Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netnayahu at 2018 Bible QuizShlomi Cohen/FLASH90

With new elections scheduled in less than three months, Knesset polls show the ruling Likud party likely to again emerge as the largest faction in the 120-member legislature, giving it the clearest path to form a ruling coalition.

While the emergence of new parties which have yet to clearly define themselves on the left-right spectrum, including former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy’s Gesher faction, and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz’s Hosen Yisrael (Israel Resilience Party), have reduced the right-wing bloc’s lead in polls, a majority of Israelis say they back the formation of a center-right or right-wing government after the April elections.

According to the poll, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Guttman Center in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, a plurality of Israeli Jews (37.2%) hope that a right-wing government is established following the elections to the 21st Knesset. Just over a third (35.6%) hope the new government will be center-right, for a total of 72.8% backing a coalition on the right side of the political spectrum.

By comparison, just 3% of Jews hope the government will be left-wing, while a further 16.8% hope for a center-left government, giving a total of less than 20% who back a coalition on the left side of the spectrum.

Israeli Arabs were more likely to back a left-wing government, with 50% supporting such a coalition, compared to 16% in favor of a center-left government, 5% in favor of a center-right one, a 16% backing a rightist coalition.

Israelis – both Arabs and Jews – expect the new government to be either right-wing or center right. A total of 42.4% of Jews and 57.4% of Arabs say they next government will be right-wing, compared to 43.6% of Jews and 10.8% of Arabs who believe it will be center-right. Only 0.8% of Jews and 12.6% of Arabs think the new coalition will be left-wing, with a further 3.6% of Jews and 6.3% of Arabs saying the next government will likely be center-left.