Poll: Shaked Would Boost Likud by Five Knesset Seats

YERUSHALAYIM -
A man casts his vote at a Likud polling station in Tzfas on February 5. (David Cohen/Flash90)

As the question of the political fate of former Minister Ayelet Shaked continues to remain open, a new poll of voters on the right shows that adding her to the Likud list will increase that party’s Knesset representation by between 3 and 5 seats. Without Shaked, 27% of Israelis said they would vote for the Likud in the upcoming elections, but with her on the list, that number rises to 34%.

The poll was conducted for the Likud by the Gal Hahadash organization of Jewish voters who identified themselves as having right-wing – moderate and further right – positions, and planned to vote. The poll shows that Shaked as a Likud candidate would bring with her a significant number of secular and traditional voters, as well as women, and religious voters who did not plan to vote for the United Right List or Chareidi Parties.

The poll also ranked the popularity of figures on the right. Binyamin Netanyahu rated the highest, with 53% of voters saying they considered him the leader of the right – but Shaked got the same rating, meaning she would be just as good a candidate for prime minister as Netanyahu, according to many voters.

Following the pair was Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is preferred by 48% of right-wing voters, and Avigdor Liberman, who rated at 33%. Only 19% chose United Right List head Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the same percentage who preferred his party-mate, Betzalel Smotrich.

Shaked would also perform well outside the Likud. A religious right-wing party like the United Right List would get 6% of all votes, ensuring it a presence in the Knesset, if not a large one. A party headed by Shaked, whether the List or Jewish Home, would nearly double that level of support. If the United Right List and Jewish Home were united with Shaked, Naftali Bennett, Smotrich, and Peretz all on the same list, that party would get 16% of all votes. When asked who should head that list, 44% chose Shaked, with Bennett coming in a distant second at 22%. Smotrich was preferred by 17% of voters, while Peretz, who currently heads the United Right List, got only 7% of support.

Channel 20, which reported the results of the poll, said that it had given much food for thought among Likud officials, and that “significant pressure” was being placed on Netanyahu to include Shaked on the Likud list. MK Miki Zohar was quoted as saying that “this is a necessary step. It will strengthen the Likud and the entire right. I hope the prime minister will make the right decision.”