Netanyahu at Likud faction meeting
Netanyahu at Likud faction meetingYonatan Sindel/FLASH90

The left-wing –Arab bloc made significant gains this week on the right-wing – religious bloc, reaching near-parity, a new poll shows, despite a significant decrease in the strength of the Blue and White party.

According to the new poll, conducted by Maagar Mohot and published by i24NEWS and Israel Hayom on Friday, the center-left Blue and White party’s lead over the Likud has fallen from seven mandates to just four over the past week.

Friday’s poll shows that if elections were held today, the Blue and White party would likely win 30 seats, down from 33 seats according to the previous Maagar Mohot poll, released last Friday. The Likud, on the other hand, remains stable at 26 seats – though this represents a four-seat decrease from the 30 seats it won in 2015.

In a distant third place is the Labor party with 9 seats, a dramatic fall from the 19 mandates the party won in 2015 (the joint Zionist Union list won 24 total, including 5 for the Hatnuah faction). This nevertheless represents a two seat gain over last week’s Maagar Mohot poll, which projected Labor winning just seven mandates.

The far-left Meretz party would win six seats if elections were held today – a decline of two mandates compared to last week’s poll, but an increase of one mandate over the five Meretz won in 2015.

The Gesher party, founded by former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy – who broke away to remain in the opposition in 2016 – would win four seats if new elections were held today. This is the first poll since March 5th which shows Gesher crossing the electoral threshold, and the second poll since party lists were formally submitted on February 21st to show Gesher entering the Knesset.

The Arab parties would win a combined nine mandates – down from the 13 they won in 2015 on the united Joint List ticket, but up from the six seats they were projected to win last week. The United Arab List and Balad ticket, which failed to cross the threshold in last week’s poll, inched up to four seats this week, while the Hadash – Ta’al list fell from six to five.

On the right, the Union of Right-Wing Parties – a joint ticket of the Jewish Home, National Union, and Otzma Yehudit – moved up from six seats in last week’s poll to seven, while the New Right of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked fell from six to five.

Zehut, the libertarian-leaning faction of former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, continues to gain momentum, rising from five seats in last week’s poll to six, while Yisrael Beytenu and Kulanu remain with four seats apiece, the same as in last week’s survey. Yisrael Beytenu won six seats in 2015, while Kulanu won 10.

Among the haredi factions, United Torah Judaism fell from seven seats in last week’s poll to just six – the same number the party won in 2015 – while Shas fell from five to four mandates, compared to the seven it currently holds. Former Shas chairman Eli Yishai’s Yahad party failed to receive even one-tenth of a percent of the vote in the poll.

Tzomet, the secular-right party revived by Likud MK Oren Hazan climbed upwards towards the minimum threshold in this week’s poll, receiving 1.7% of the vote – roughly double what Tzomet has received in recent polls. That still leaves the party far below the 3.25% threshold, however.

The right-wing – religious bloc, including the Likud, Union of Right-Wing Parties, Shas, UTJ, Yisrael Beytenu, Kulanu, the New Right, and Zehut are projected to win a combined 62 seats, compared to 58 for the Blue and White party, Labor, Meretz, Gesher, and the Arab factions. Last week, the right-religious bloc led by a significantly wider margin - 66 to 54.