Poll: Liberman the Biggest Loser If Third Elections Held

Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Blue and White head Benny Gantz is set to officially be handed the mandate to form a government by President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday night, and he will have 28 days to accomplish that. However, based on the current stances of the parties, especially the right and religious parties, the chances of Gantz forming a government are, at least for now, very low.

Given that, pundits and pollsters are already working on the assumption that a third election is not unlikely. The only question is – will things be any different if Israelis have a third chance to cast their votes?

To answer that question, the Panels Ltd. polling firm conducted a poll of Israeli voters in recent days, asking them if they would consider changing their vote if a third election were called. Based on the poll, there is a strong likelihood that if a new election is called, the current deadlock between right and left will be broken, one way or the other.

Among parties on the right, the large majority would repeat their previous vote. 88.5% of those who voted for the Likud in the September election would do so in another round, as would 76% of Yemina voters. 70% of Shas voters would do so. Among United Torah Judaism voters, nearly 100% said they would repeat their votes. If Otzma Yehudit ran again, 71% of those who voted for it in September would do so again.

There was also strong loyalty on the left, albeit to a lesser extent than on the right. 85% of Democratic Camp voters would repeat their vote, as would 84% of Blue and White voters. 90% of those who chose the United Arab List voters would do so again, as would 64% of Labor voters. The biggest loser in a new election would be Yisrael Beytenu; only 51.5% of voters for Avigdor Liberman’s party would do it again.

The poll also shows that a majority – 56% – of Israelis believe that the country would be better off if the only contenders were the two biggest parties; 33% said that smaller parties were needed as well. Of those that supported the two-party system, 72% were Likud voters, 78% Blue and White voters, and 72% Labor supporters. Among those supporting the multi-party system, the most vocal were Shas and UTJ voters, 69.5% and 68% of whom respectively said that small parties were essential in the Israeli political system.

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