First Post-Recommendations Polls Show Likud Still Leads

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu leading a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Even after police recommended that Binyamin Netanyahu be prosecuted on corruption charges, the prime minister’s party still leads in polls, and the Likud would likely be able to form a new government if elections were held now. A Hadashot News poll taken a day after the police said that Netanyahu should be prosecuted for corruption in two cases shows that the Likud would get 26 seats in a new Knesset, more than the party currently has. A poll by Channel Ten shows the Likud getting 27 seats.

Following close on Netanyahu’s heels is Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which according to Hadashot News would get 22 seats. Channel Ten has him coming in with 25 seats, more than previous polls had shown. Zionist Camp comes in with 16 and 15 seats in the respective polls.

Gaining slightly in the Hadashot News poll is Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu, which would get nine seats; in the Channel Ten poll, Kulanu gets just five seats. In both polls, Jewish Home would get 11, United Torah Judaism seven, Meretz seven, Yisrael Beytenu six and Shas five. The United Arab List gets 12 and 11 seats in the respective polls. According to both polls, neither Lapid nor Gabay would be able to form a coalition, unless they both included each other’s respective parties – considered a long shot by most political analysts – as well as both UTJ and Shas, considered a non-starter, especially in the case of Lapid.

Both polls showed that about half of Israelis believe the allegations against Netanyahu, at least in Case 1000, in which Netanyahu was accused of accepting extravagant gifts from millionaire Arnon Milchin, mostly cigars and champagne. About a quarter believe police are trying to “railroad” the prime minister, the polls show, while about another quarter said they were not sure. In the Hadashot News poll, 48 percent of those polled said that Netanyahu should resign in the wake of the allegations, while 36 percent said he did not have to resign.

Among the witnesses in the case against Netanyahu is his arch-rival Lapid, and that poll showed that 35 percent believed him when he said that Netanyahu had been involved in corrupt practices; 30 percent believed Netanyahu’s denial of Lapid’s charges; and 35 percent said they weren’t sure.