Poll: Likud, Blue and White Lose Ground, Right Still Leads

Workers prepare ballot boxes for the upcoming election at a warehouse in Shoham, before they are shipped to polling stations, Thursday. (Flash90)

With barely a month to go before the elections, the bloc of right-wing parties continues to lead in the polls – although the latest poll issued Friday shows that both the Likud and the Blue and White party were weakening. The Yisrael Hayom poll shows the Likud losing 3 mandates compared to the previous poll, receiving 26 seats if elections were held today, while Blue and White comes in with 33 seats, 5 fewer than the previous poll.

The third largest party in the Knesset will be the Arab Ta’al-Hadash party, with 9 seats, but that may not be reflective of its full potential, considering that it is now the only Arab party running, after the Balad-Ra’am list was thrown off the ballot Wednesday night by the Central Elections Committee. That party had been polling between 6 and 8 mandates, and observers expected many of them to drift to Ta’al-Hadash.

Following in the poll are five parties that would get 8 seats each – Labor, Meretz, New Right, United Torah Judaism and United Right List. Kulanu, Shas, and the Zehut Party would get four each, the latter having straddled the electoral threshold in recent weeks. If Kulanu remains in the orbit of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the right-wing bloc of parties, together with the chareidi parties, would be able to form a government of 62 MKs.

The poll also shows that 52 percent of Israelis prefer Netanyahu as prime minister, while 48 percent would rather see Blue and White’s Benny Gantz getting the top post. The poll also asked voters if the decision by State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit that Netanyahu should be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges influenced the way they would vote. In response, 75 percent said it made no difference; only 12 percent said that it did, while 13 percent said they hadn’t decided yet.

Not passing the threshold is Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, which, the poll shows, “doesn’t even come close” to the electoral threshold, Yisrael Hayom said. However, Liberman begs to differ. In an interview with Reshet Bet Thursday, Liberman said that in internal polls conducted by the Likud and his party showed significant strength. “Our poll shows the right-wing parties getting 70 seats, and the Likud will beat Blue and White by 10 seats. Our party will get 8 seats. This goes to show what nonsense the polls are,” Liberman said.

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