Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuLiron Moldovan/POOL/Flash90

Likud functionaries have expressed considerable support for the idea of Netanyahu running for the presidency, a notion that has been gaining popularity over the past few weeks.

A survey by the Ma’agar Mohot institute asked 501 respondents: "If Binyamin Netanyahu fails to form a new government, will he or she not support Netanyahu's appointment as president, when all legal proceedings against him are stopped, and a right-wing government is formed headed by another Likud candidate?" 69 percent of respondents said they would support the initiative, while only 23 percent opposed it. 8 percent said they did not know.

The respondents were subsequently asked who their preferred candidate is as the Likud's candidate for prime minister if Netanyahu is appointed president among senior Likud members today.

The leading candidate by a large margin over all the others according to the survey is MK Nir Barkat, who won the support of 39 percent of the respondents. In second place, with less than half the support (14 percent), came Finance Minister Israel Katz.

In third place is the former head of the GSS, MK Avi Dichter, who received 8 percent support. Ministers Amir Ohana and Miri Regev received 5 percent support each, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein received 4 percent support and Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin received only one percent support. A quarter of respondents, 25 percent, said they did not know who to support in such a case.

Later in the survey, functionaries were asked whether they would support a right-wing government, the establishment of which would be made possible through the support or abstention of the UAL party led by Mansour Abbas.

21 percent of respondents indicated that they would support the formation of a government in this way in any case, while 40 percent would support it only if it is the only thing that will prevent going to a fifth election. 31 percent of the functionaries indicated that they oppose the formation of a government with the help of the UAL party, and 8 percent answered that they do not know.