Polls: Likud Still Strong, But Half Believe Netanyahu Should Step Aside

YERUSHALAYIM -
netanyahu, indictment
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

With election fever in the air, more polls on how Israelis feel about their political leaders were released Wednesday night – but they continued to show that the Likud, with or without Binyamin Netanyahu, was the most popular party. With that, one of the polls, presented by Hadashot News, said that 50 percent of Israelis believe that the prime minister should resign or temporarily recuse himself until he is cleared in the criminal investigations going on against him.

The Hadashot News poll, taken on its behalf by the Minna Tzemach organization, showed that one third of Israelis believe Netanyahu could remain on the job. A similar poll last week showed that 30 percent of Israelis thought Netanyahu could remain as prime minister, while 48 percent said he should resign or recuse himself. 42 percent of the representative sample of Israelis said that elections should be moved up from their scheduled November 2019 date, while 36 percent said that the current government should remain, whether or not Netanyahu was leading it.

A Channel Ten poll, meanwhile, showed that the Likud retained its strength among voters, and would get 27 seats if elections were held today. Yesh Atid would get 23 seats, Zionist Camp would get 15, United Arab List 12, Jewish Home 10, Kulanu eight, Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu seven, United Torah Judaism six and Shas five. The poll also asked what the fate of the Likud would be if someone other than Netanyahu were leading the party. In that event, the party would get 26 seats, with Zionist Camp gaining one, to arrive at 16 seats. In any event, neither Yesh Atid nor Zionist Camp would have the ability to form a coalition, the poll results showed.

A poll released Wednesday by Yisrael Hayom showed similar results. If elections were held today, the party would get 34 seats in a new Knesset, four more than it currently has, said the poll that was taken by the Geocartigraphia organization on behalf of Yisrael Hayom. The poll also shows that Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid, is less popular than it has been. Recent polls have placed Yesh Atid’s strength at close to or even above 25 seats, but the new poll shows the party getting just 20 seats. Jewish Home, led by Naftali Bennett, would get 14 seats, while Zionist Camp would get just 12. Yisrael Beytenu would get six, Kulanu seven and Meretz six. United Torah Judaism, meanwhile, would get nine seats – the highest that party has ever polled. Shas would not garner enough votes for Knesset representation, according to the poll.