Poll: Right loses ground, Jewish Home out of next Knesset

New poll shows Israelis divided on whether Netanyahu can serve under indictment. Blue and White poised to expand margin over the Likud.

David Rosenberg,

Netanyahu, Sa'ar
Netanyahu, Sa'ar
Flash 90

Israelis are sharply divided over whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should be able to continue to serve after being indicted on corruption charges, a new polls shows.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) say Netanyahu cannot continue to serve as prime minister while under indictment, compared to 46% who said he can continue, according to a new poll conducted by the Smith polling agency and published by Ma’ariv Friday.

Among Likud voters, 82% say Netanyahu can continue as premier, compared to just 6% of Blue and White voters.

The poll also found that if new elections were held today, the center-left Blue and White party would best the Likud by two seats, 35 to 33, if Netanyahu retains control of the Likud.

In that scenario, the left-wing – Arab bloc would gain one seat, with the left bloc then rising from 57 seats won in September to 58 seats, while the right-wing – religious bloc would fall from 55 seats to 54.

Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, which has called for a national unity government, would retain its eight seats.

On the Left, the Democratic Union and Labor would win five seats each, while the Joint Arab List would win 13.

Among the haredi parties, Shas would receive eight seats, down from its present nine, while United Torah Judaism would retain its seven setas.

The New Right party, which recently announced that it would run independently, would receive six seats, while the Jewish Home – National Union would fail to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold, leaving it out of the 23rd Knesset.

If Netanyahu loses next month’s planned leadership race to MK Gideon Sa’ar, however, the Likud would win just 31 seats, while Blue and White would remain steady at 35.

Nevertheless, the right-wing bloc as a whole would benefit from Sa’ar leading the Likud, with the Jewish Home – National Union clearing the threshold with four seats. The New Right would win six seats in this scenario, with Shas at eight, and UTJ at seven.

The right-wing bloc as a whole would win 56 seats if Gideon Sa’ar leads the Likud, compared to 57 seats for the left-wing – Arab bloc and just seven seats for Yisrael Beytenu.

The Democratic Union would win just four seats in this scenario, compared to five for Labor, and 13 for the Joint Arab List.