The Likud holds a more than two-to-one lead over its nearest competitor in the latest Knesset poll, suggesting that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would easily win a fifth term as premier if new elections were held today.
The poll, conducted by Panels Politics for Walla shows the Likud rising to 35 seats – the most the party has won since 2003, and a gain of one mandate since the last Panels Politics survey, released in June.
The survey is just the latest showing the Likud gaining seats if early elections were held. Polls conducted since the beginning of May show the Likud winning anywhere from 31 to 42 seats.
Despite his party’s strong poll numbers, Netanyahu insists he plans to continue with his current governing coalition until just before the end of the Knesset’s term in November 2019.
“I want to continue with this coalition just about until the end of its term,” the Prime Minister said at a meeting of coalition leaders Sunday. “This is a great coalition”.
According to the new poll, if elections were held today, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid faction would win 17 seats – a gain of 6 over the 11 it won in 2015 but a significant drop from the seats the party was projected to win in most polls last year.
The Zionist Union, an amalgam of the Labor Party and the smaller Hatnuah faction would win just 11 seats, compared to the 24 it currently holds.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home would win 10 seats – a gain of 2 – while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu would win 5, a decline of 1 seat compared to the party’s performance in 2015, but the same as the number of seats the party has held since MK Orly Levy broke off in 2016.
A new faction led by MK Levy would win 5 seats – 3 less than the previous Panels Politics poll projected in June.
Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu would win just 6 seats, down from the 10 it won in 2015, while the far left Meretz faction would gain 2 seats, rising to 7 mandates.
The predominantly Arab Joint List party would win 12 seats, a decline of 1 seat compared to its current 13.