Poll Shows Mounting Electoral Tension Between Netanyahu, Bennett

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) seen with Minister of Education Naftali Bennett during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament on June 17, 2015. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) seen with Education Minister Naftali Bennett during a plenum session in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

New polls Thursday show that political trends seen in recent weeks were strengthening. Zionist Camp was falling sharply in the polls, while Yesh Atid and Jewish Home were on the rise.

Between the two of them, United Torah Judaism and Shas would get 15 seats if elections were held today, with a slight advantage to Shas for the eighth seat. United Arab List remains constant at 13 seats, according to the poll taken by the Ma’agar Mochot polling group for Radio 103, while Yisrael Beitenu rises from its current six seats to nine. Meretz also remains stable, with six seats.

The big news is the continued weakness of Zionist Camp. In the new poll, the party falls to 10 seats, with the party’s supporters apparently moving to Yesh Atid, which rises to 21 seats, making it the second largest party in the Knesset, after the Likud’s 27. The Likud, while still the largest party, continues to lose support as well, mostly to Jewish Home, which according to the poll would receive 13 seats instead of its current 8.

The coming electoral face-off between Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister and Likud head, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett was illustrated in another question featured in the poll. The question related to the recent debate between the two over whether the cabinet had full knowledge of the threat of the terror tunnels before 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Only 28 percent of those polled said that they believed Netanyahu, who claimed that all the information was presented to MKs, while 41 percent believed Bennett, who said that Netanyahu and the government failed to make clear the threat.