New Hope chief Gideon Sa'ar with PM Bennett
New Hope chief Gideon Sa'ar with PM Bennettצילום: Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The new Israeli government under the leadership of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett received poor approval ratings in a poll published Friday, showing voters unsatisfied with the coalition’s performance on a wide range of issues.

According to the poll, which was conducted by Maagar Mohot and published by Israel Hayom Friday morning, Opposition Leader and former premier Benjamin Netanyahu remains the top choice for prime minister with 46% of respondents saying he is their top choice.

Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid came in second with 28%, while incumbent premier Naftali Bennett came in a distant third with just 14%, followed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz at 8% and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar with 4%.

A majority of Israelis believe the current government is either left-wing (33%) or center-left (35%), compared to just 25% who say the government is centrist, and seven percent who believe it is right-wing.

Nearly half (48%) said they were either satisfied (29%) or moderately satisfied (29%) with the composition of the government, compared to 42% who said they were not satisfied. But an absolute majority (56%) said they were unsatisfied with the inclusion of the United Arab List (Ra’am) in the government, compared to 44% who said they were either satisfied (17%) or somewhat satisfied (27%).

Respondents gave the government poor marks on its handling of the coronavirus and the economy, but were more evenly divided on the government’s handling of foreign policy, while a plurality were satisfied with its handling of security issues.

If new elections were held today, the poll found that the Likud would remain the largest faction in the Knesset with 29 seats, down one from its current 30 mandates.

Yesh Atid received 21 seats in the poll, followed by Shas at nine seats, with Yamina surging from six seats to nine seats.

United Torah Judaism, Labor, and the Religious Zionist Party alliance with Noam and Otzma Yehudit each receiving seven seats.

The Joint Arab List, Meretz, the United Arab List (Ra’am), and Yisrael Beytenu each received six seats in the poll.

The New Hope party, formed by breakaway Likud lawmaker Gideon Sa’ar, failed to cross the threshold in the new poll, receiving 0% of votes.