The Likud has opened up a nearly 20-mandate lead over its nearest competitor in the race for the 21st Knesset, a new poll shows.
According to a survey conducted by Panels Politics and published Tuesday night by Walla!, if new elections were held today, the Likud, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the helm, would gain two mandates, rising to 32 seats total, despite several possible criminal indictments against the premier.
The poll was conducted after Netanyahu spoke out Monday night on the multiple investigations against him, and police recommendations that he be indicted on corruption charges.
Dismissing the allegations against him, the Prime Minister accused investigators of following a double standard, and demanded that he be permitted to confront his accusers.
"I am not afraid, I have nothing to hide," he said.
"The prime minister also has the right to due process, I will cover all the things they say, because I know the truth and I am 4,000 percent sure of it," Netanyahu said.
Following the address, the Likud gained two seats compared to the previous Panels Politics poll, which had showed the party retaining the 30 seats it won in 2015.
That gives the Likud a 19-mandate edge over the second largest party, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which would gain two seats, rising from 11 to 13.
The new Hosen Yisrael (Israel Resilience Party) led by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz would net 12 seats, tying for third place with the predominantly Arab Joint List.
The New Right (HaYamin HaHadash), launched by former Jewish Home ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, would win eight seats if new elections were held today, as would the Labor party under Avi Gabbay.
Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah faction, which had run jointly with Labor under the Zionist Union alliance in 2015, would not pass the electoral threshold.
The Jewish Home, which has struggled to clear the 3.25% electoral threshold (equivalent to nearly four seats) since Bennett and Shaked’s departure, gained a single mandate in the latest poll, rising from four seats in the previous survey to five. The party won eight seats in the previous election, but fell to five after Bennett, Shaked and MK Shuli Mualem bolted.
Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party would win just four seats, barely clearing the electoral threshold, compared to six seats the party won in 2015.
Former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy’s Gesher faction would also win four seats, barely clearing the threshold.
Shas, which currently holds seven seats, would fall to five, while the United Torah Judaism faction would rise from six to seven.
Kulanu would lose half of its strength if new elections were held today, falling from 10 to 5 mandates.
The far-left Meretz party would retain its five seats.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s Telem party would fail to cross the electoral threshold, as would ex-Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s Yahad, former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut, and the Otzma Yehudit party.