Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked
Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A new poll shows Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is the top candidate to replace Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as chair of the Yamina party – though a majority of the party’s traditional base say they will not vote for it in the next election.

The data comes from an internal poll conducted on behalf of the Yamina party, surveying members of the National Religious sector – hitherto the core of Yamina’s electoral base – which candidate they favor to lead the party if Bennett resigns as chairman.

Shaked led the poll with 30.1%, followed by Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Matan Kahana in distant second with 13.2%.

However, the overwhelming majority (57%) of respondents said they will not vote for Yamina regardless of who leads the party.

Both Shaked and Kahana met with Bennett recently to discuss the future of the party, as Bennett mulls a departure from politics.

The Interior Minister and Deputy Religious Minister both expressed interest in leading Yamina should Bennett leave. Several officials with knowledge of the talks said that Kahana is planning to leave the party if Shaked replaces Bennett as party chair.