Poll: Most Would Blame Netanyahu for New Elections

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)

With coalition negotiations going nowhere, Israelis’ thoughts have been turning to the possibility of a third election this year – but if that happens, a poll shows, most Israelis will blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Ma’agar Mochot poll taken on behalf of Radio 103 shows that 52% of those polled would see Netanyahu as the prime cause of a third election, while 21% would blame Avigdor Liberman. Also “guilty” would be Yair Lapid, whom 19% see as responsible for the coalition negotiation deadlock.

Coming off best in the poll is Blue and White head Benny Gantz, whom only 8% would see as responsible for new elections.

Although Netanyahu would be seen as the primary reason for elections, it would not necessarily affect the fate of the Likud in new elections. In fact, according to the poll, little would change in the makeup of the Knesset. Blue and White would remain the largest party, with 34 seats, while the Likud would be right behind with 33. Third largest would be the United Arab List, with 12 seats, with Shas coming in next with 9 seats. Yisrael Beytenu would match its current 8 seats in new elections, while Labor would get 7. Both United Torah Judaism and the Yemina party (New Right) would get 6. The Democratic Camp would get 5.

Based on those results, the Likud and its right-wing/religious partners would get 54 seats, one less than it has now, while Blue and White could count on 46 seats. Gantz would again have to choose between the United Arab List and Yisrael Beytenu, as well as convince a member of the right-wing/religious bloc to join his government – a task that he is now involved in, and has so far failed to accomplish.