Latest Poll Shows Slight Improvement for Yesh Atid

Likud and Jewish Home still polling first and second place respectively; right-wing-religious bloc would have clear majority.

Ari Soffer ,

Down, but not out? Yair Lapid
Down, but not out? Yair Lapid
Flash 90

A new opinion poll released by Globes shows the right-wing and religious Knesset bloc growing significantly in the next elections - but also illustrates a slight comeback for Finance Minister Yair Lapid's secularist Yesh Atid party.

According to the survey, conducted by pollster Rafi Smith, if elections were held today the results would be as follows (current seats in parentheses):

Likud 25 (19)

Yisrael Beytenu 10 (12)

Yesh Atid 11 (19)

Labor 14 (15)

Jewish Home 15 (12)

Shas 9 (11)

United Torah Judaism 7 (7)

Hatnuah 4 (6)

Meretz 7 (6)

New party under Moshe Kahlon 6 (-)

Hadash 5 (4)

Ra'am-Ta'al 4 (4)

Balad 3 (3)

Kadima 0 (2)

In all, the results would gift a clear majority to the traditional religious-right-wing bloc (72, up from current 61), and leaves the Arab-left-wing bloc floundering at just 48 seats, compared to its current 59.

The results are in general consistent with trends highlighted in previous polls, for example placing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party in first place followed by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party, as well as showing Yesh Atid taking a serious beating by voters unhappy with its performance in government. The poll also reaffirms previous numbers which show the Kadima party disappearing from the political map entirely.

However, while Yesh Atid would still see its share of seats depleted considerably, it is fairing slightly better than in the last Rafi Smith poll, which gave the party just 9 seats - two less than its current standing. Those two seats apparently come at the expense of Likud, which is down two from its previous showing.

Bennett's Jewish Home party also registered a slight improvement, polling 15 seats - one more than in the previous poll, and firmly in second place.

Those numbers however appear conservative compared to a Knesset Channel poll conducted earlier this month, which showed Jewish Home receiving 19 seats. That same poll also placed Likud slightly higher at 28 seats.

As in almost every Israeli a election, a new "centrist" party appears to be in the making, headed by former Likud MK and Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon. That party is predicted to receive 6 seats, despite the fact that Kahlon has not yet officially confirmed that he is running or even revealed who else would feature on the party list.

The poll also asked respondents to name their favorite government minister. Naftali Bennett came out strongest, with 19% of votes, followed surprisingly by Lapid (16%). Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who recently announced he would be stepping down and taking a break from politics, was in third place (11%), followed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (10%), and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (7%).

45% of respondents didn't pick anyone, and the remaining votes went to ministers who received 5% or less.