Poll: If Netanyahu Can’t Serve, Sa’ar Is the People’s Choice

Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar. (Flash 90)

If for some reason Binyamin Netanyahu is unable to take office if the Likud wins the election, the majority of Likud voters would want to see Gideon Sa’ar take the post of prime minister, a poll released Friday shows. The poll taken for Radio 103 by the Ma’agar Hamohot polling firm also shows no change in the balance of power; if elections were held today, the Likud would be able to establish a government of 60 MKs without Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu.

The poll asked Likud voters who they believed could best replace Netanyahu, and Sa’ar was chosen by 33% of respondents. He was followed by Yisrael Katz, who was preferred by 29% of Likud voters, and Yuli Edelstein, whom 16% said would be best. Gilad Erdan was preferred by 6%. Surprisingly, Ayelet Shaked was chosen by 10%, even though she is not a Likud member.

Among the general public, the trend was the same. When asked which Likud member could replace Netanyahu, 27% of all voters said Sa’ar, followed by Katz and Edelstein with 19%, and Shaked with 13%.

If elections were held now, the Likud would get 34 Knesset seats, with Blue and White close behind with 33 seats. United Torah Judaism and Shas would get 8 each, the United Right List would get 8, and the New Right 4. Meretz would get 5 and Labor 4. The poll was taken before the announcement Thursday that the four Arab parties would run under the banner of the United Arab List. According to the poll, Ra’am-Balad would get 4 seats, and Hadash-Ta’al 6.

Yisrael Beytenu would remain the kingmaker, with 8 seats. In an interview Thursday, Liberman reiterated that his objective was to force the Likud and Blue and White to join in a single coalition, along with his party – and without the religious, chareidi, or Arab parties.

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