Poll: Most Israelis Favor Unity, Oppose New Elections

Voting ballots for the Knesset elections. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israelis are firmly in favor of a unity government, and firmly against new elections, a poll in Yisrael Hayom shows. Despite the near-impossible mathematics of assembling a coalition, at least given the current stances of the heads of most parties, 60% of Israelis are opposed to new elections to resolve the electoral deadlock. Only 26% said they were in favor, while 14% weren’t sure.

The poll by the Ma’agar Mohot organization, taken on behalf of the newspaper, polled 502 Israelis representative of a cross-section of the population. It has a 4.4% margin of error.

Although most Israelis want a unity government, they differ on what the nature of that government should be. The poll shows 29% of respondents preferring a unity government between the Likud, Blue and White, and including Yisrael Beytenu, which has said that it would join only such a government. However, almost as many – 25% – said they wanted a unity government that included right-wing and religious parties. 23% said they wanted a narrow right-wing coalition without Blue and White, while only 9% said they wanted to see a government run by Blue and White but including chareidi parties. Of those who wanted to see Netanyahu and Gantz working together, 44% said that the prime minister should be first in a rotation arrangement, while 40% said Gantz should go first.

Also on the agenda were the various “bans” by political parties, primary of which was the outright refusal of Blue and White to join a government led by Netanyahu. 43% of those polled said that the ban was justified, while 39% said that it was not. 52% said that the ban by Avigdor Liberman of chareidi parties was wrong, while 30% supported it. Voters who identified with the center-left were much more likely to defend the ban on chareidi parties; 79% of those voters supported Liberman’s refusal to serve “with chareidim, messianists, the Democratic Camp and the Arab factions.” Meanwhile, 42% of those polled said that the refusal of chareidi parties to join a government that included Yair Lapid was not justified, while 34% said it was. Of chareidi voters, 81% said there was a good reason for that ban.

Chareidi voters were the biggest boosters of those who supported the idea of new elections, with 50% preferring that solution. They were closely followed by Otzma Yehudit voters, 45% of whom said they wanted a do-over, as did 35% of United Arab List voters. The least interested in new elections are Blue and White voters, 80% of whom said that new elections were a bad idea.

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