Poll: Jewish Home’s Shaked Could Win as PM Candidate

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu leads a special Cabinet meeting at the Prime Ministers office in Yerushalayim. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL)

Yet another poll indicates that if elections were held today, the Likud, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would handily win and be able to form a new government with ease. The poll taken on behalf of Maariv by the Panels Politics organization, shows that the Likud would come away with 33 seats. It closest follower would be Yesh Atid, with 18 seats, followed by Zionist Camp and the United Arab List, both with 11.

However, a Likud not led by Netanyahu could also achieve 33 seats, the poll indicates – if the alternative head of the party was Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, currently an MK in Jewish Home.

According to the poll, Shaked is currently the second most popular political figure in Israel, behind Netanyahu. If she were to run in the Likud primaries, she would beat out all other top Likud members for the second slot behind Netanyahu. And if she were to be the first name on the Likud list, the party would do just as well at the polls as it would with Netanyahu at the helm.

Results for the other parties would remain largely unchanged as well if Shaked were to move to the Likud. Her own Jewish Home party would lose a seat, receiving eight, instead of nine if Shaked were to remain. The “lost” mandate would be split among chareidi parties, the poll indicates. According to the poll, United Torah Judaism would get eight seats in such a scenario, and Shas would get five.

If Shaked were to face off against former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz – a name bandied about as possible top name in Zionist Camp – the Likud would still come out on top, with 31 seats, but Zionist Camp would zoom up to second place, with 24 seats. That would come largely at the expense of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which would get just 13 seats. Results for Jewish Home, UTJ and Shas would be largely unchanged.

In either scenario, Meretz would get six seats, and five each would go to Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, and a new party headed by former Yisrael Beytenu Orly Levi-Abukasis.

In addition, no matter who leads the Likud, the party would easily be able to form a government, with a coalition of between 68 and 73 seats, according to the poll.