Polls Show Contest Shaping Up Between Netanyahu, Gantz/Lapid

Composite photo of Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid Party. (Gili Yaari/Flash90/Flash90)

Three polls appearing Friday show that little has changed in the political arena over the past week. A union between Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would get between two and four more seats than the Likud, but would still be unable to form a government.

A poll by Maariv showed the best results for a Gantz-Lapid partnership. That grouping would get 36 seats, compared to the Likud’s 32. Running separately, Resilience would get 24 seats, and Yesh Atid 10. The New Right gets 9 seats, while Jewish Home would get 5, as would Shas and United Torah Judaism. Yisrael Beytenu and Kulanu would get 4. If those parties formed a coalition under Binyamin Netanyahu’s leadership, the government would have 64 members.

Gantz and Lapid would be able to count only on Labor and Meretz as confirmed partners to form a government – and both those parties were polling at only 5 seats apiece in the Maariv poll.

In a poll released by i24 News, Labor does even worse, barely passing the electoral threshold with 4 seats. That poll has the Likud coming in with 29 seats, but Resilience ticked off a reduction in support, with the party likely to get 17 seats if elections were held now – compared to 19 last week.

If Lapid and Gantz united, and included former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the party would get 35 seats, the i24 poll shows – once again giving them the opportunity to form a government, but without enough mandates to do so, unless it could convince Shas, UTJ and Kulanu to join. As it stands now, the best it could do is block the formation of a Netanyahu-led government, by relying on the 12 or so seats the two Arab lists are likely to register.

Meanwhile, a poll by Makor Rishon showed similar results, with the Likud getting 32 seats, Resilience 23, and Yesh Atid 11. Together, the latter two would get 35 seats, compared to the Likud’s 34. The poll explored various permutations on the right as well. If the Likud joined with Kulanu, it would match Gantz and Lapid’s 35 seats, while a union of Likud and New Right would result in 41 seats for both parties, compared to 37 for Gantz/Lapid.