Netanyahu at Likud faction meeting
Netanyahu at Likud faction meetingYonatan Sindel/FLASH90

The Blue and White party continues to lead the Likud, even as the right-wing – religious bloc gains strength over the left-wing – Arab bloc, a new poll shows.

According to a survey conducted by Direct Polls on behalf of Kan, the Blue and White party – formed by a merger of the Yesh Atid faction with former IDF Chief Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience faction and the smaller Telem party – would win 30 seats if elections were held today.

The Likud would come in a close second at 28, two less than the party currently holds.

Despite the left-leaning Blue and White party’s narrow lead, however, the eight right-leaning and haredi parties expanded their combined share of the projected vote, from 63 seats in the previous Direct Polls survey to 65.

The New Right would win seven seats if new elections were held today – one seat higher than its performance in last week’s Direct Polls survey – while the Union of Right-Wing Parties fell by one seat, from six to five.

The center-right Kulanu faction of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, which won 10 seats in 2015 but failed to cross the threshold in last week’s poll, jumped to six mandates in Wednesday’s survey.

By contrast, Yisrael Beytenu, which won four seats in last week’s poll, failed to cross the threshold on Wednesday, receiving just 2.1% of the vote, below the 3.25% minimum.

The Zehut party, which combines libertarian positions on socio-economic issues with support for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, rose this week from four seats to six in the new poll.

The Gesher party, which was founded by former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy, who bolted when her faction joined the Netanyahu government in 2016, received just 2.6% of the projected vote in the poll, failing to cross the threshold.

The left-wing Labor party, which won 19 seats in 2015, fell to just 8 in the latest poll, one below its performance in last week’s Direct Polls survey.

Meretz also fell by one seat over the past week, from six mandates last week to five on Wednesday.

The two Arab lists – Hadash-Ta’al and the United Arab List-Balad tickets – would win a combined 12 seats, five for UAL-Balad and seven for Hadash-Ta’al.

Another poll released Wednesday also found the right-wing – religious bloc gaining ground, rising from 59 seats in Sunday’s poll to 63 in today’s survey.

That survey, conducted by Midgam for IDF Radio – Galey Tzahal also showed the Likud with 28 and the Blue and White with 30.