Although most in the political establishment agree that elections are not in the offing, a new poll released Monday shows that if elections were held today, the Likud would retain its strength as the biggest party in the Knesset. Running this time without Yisrael Beytenu, the Likud would garner 28 Knesset seats.
The Knesset Channel's latest poll shows continued strength in support for Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party.
Jewish Home would get 19 seats if elections were held now, making it the second largest party in the Knesset. Jewish Home would be followed by Labor, which would get 15 seats.
Yisrael Beytenu and Yesh Atid would get ten seats each, the poll showed. Meretz would get nine, and both hareidi parties, Shas and United Torah Jewry, would get seven to eight seats each. Communist party Hadash, and Arab parties Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al would get ten seats altogether.
Binyamin Netanyahu is still seen by the public as the best choice for prime minister. In second place is Bennett, whom 13% of Israelis think should lead the country. Ten percent prefer Labor head Yitzhak Herzog, while 8% would wish to elect Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman or Justice Minister Tzippy Livni to lead the country.
A poll last week by the Knesset channel found that 39% of respondents saw Bennett as leader of the "right-wing" in Israel, giving him the edge over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Coming in second, Netanyahu got 28% support, while 20% picked Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as their right-wing leader of choice.
Meanwhile, Recent polls have shown that any popularity gains Netanyahu had made during Operation Protective Edge have dissipated. Netanyahu's approval rating nose-dived to a mere 32% in the poll last Wednesday, with a full 59% saying they were not satisfied with him. Those figures signify an even further plummeting in Netanyahu's ratings; a similar poll two days earlier found that only 38% of Israelis were satisfied with Netanyahu, as opposed to 55% four days prior to that point.
At the start of the operation with the ground entry to Gaza, that figure was a whopping 82%. Criticism has been pouring in from all corners over Netanyahu's apparent unwillingness to take decisive action against Hamas and return security to residents of the south.