Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would win, again, if new elections were held today – but would still be unable to form a majority right-wing government without the support of Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, a new poll shows.
According to a survey conducted by the Maagar Mohot polling agency and released by Radio 103FM Friday morning, if elections for the 22nd Knesset – slated for September 17th – were held today, the Likud would be the largest faction, with 35 seats, the same number the party won in April, prior to a merger with the Kulanu party.
The center-left Blue and White party, however, would fall from 35 seats to 33.
Former Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, which refused to help Netanyahu form a government last month unless it backed passage of a new haredi draft law it supported in the 20th Knesset, would rise from the five seats it won in April to eight seats.
The two haredi factions would lose a net of one seat, from sixteen seats combined in the April 9th election to fifteen mandates, with United Torah Judaism retaining its eight seats, and Shas falling from eight to seven.
The Union of Right-Wing Parties would retain its five seats, while the New Right party of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, which failed to cross the threshold by 1,300 votes in April, would also win five seats.
On the left, the Labor party would narrowly cross the 3.25% electoral threshold with four seats, a decline of two mandates, while the far-left Meretz would gain one seat, rising from four to five mandates.
The two Arab lists would remain stable, with six seats for the Hadash-Ta’al alliance and four for the joint ticket of Balad and the United Arab List.
The libertarian-leaning Zehut party would not pass the threshold.
While the right-wing – religious bloc would win a clear majority, with 68 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, Netanyahu would again be unable to form a right-wing government without Yisrael Beytenu, left with 60 seats if the secular-right wing party does not join.
The poll also found that if the Blue and White party is led by MK Gabi Ashkenazi in place of current chairman Benny Gantz, the party would win 35 seats, while the Likud would fall to 33. Despite this change, however, the right-wing – religious bloc would retain an edge.
A plurality of respondents (39%), including 34% of the right-wing – religious bloc say that if the New Right and Union of Right-Wing Parties form a joint ticket for the next election, former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked should lead the new list.
The next most popular candidate is former Education Minister and ex-Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett, who received the backing of 19% of right-wing voters and 11% of the general public.
Sixteen percent of right-wing voters and eight percent of the general public said current United Right chief MK Rafi Peretz should lead the joint ticket, compared to 14% of right-wing voters and seven percent of the general public who backed National Union chief MK Bezalel Smotrich.