Blue and White head Benny Gantz’s mandate to form a government expires in 11 days, and his chances of doing so shrunk considerably over the weekend with the appointment of Naftali Bennett as Defense Minister, adding three members to the Likud.
But a majority of Israelis would be satisfied to have Gantz form a government. A poll broadcast by Channel 12 shows that 54% of Israelis want Gantz to form a government. 30.2% do not want him to succeed at the task, while 15.8% did not respond or had no opinion.
The poll also asked what kind of government Gantz should form. 29.1% responded that they wanted a unity government with the Likud, the religious and chareidi parties, while 20.3% said they would agree to a government with the Likud alone – and without Binyamin Netanyahu included. 17.9% said that arrangement would work, but that Netanyahu could remain in the government. 19% said they wanted to see a government with leftist parties and Yisrael Beytenu, with support from Arab parties outside the government.
The poll by staff from Tel Aviv University also showed that in the event that there were new elections, 67.9% of voters would stick with their previous election choices, while 6.6% said they would vote for other parties in their preferred bloc. Only 2.4% said they would switch blocs.
However, 12.1% said they would not vote if elections were held for a third time, while 11.1% said they hadn’t made up their minds on how to vote, or even if they would vote.
As of Saturday night, the Likud is now the biggest faction in the Knesset. On Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed the New Right’s Naftali Bennett as Defense Minister, and the three MKs of the New Right will now join up with the Likud as part of the larger party’s faction for the duration of the current Knesset. With those additions, the Likud now has 35 members, compared to 33 for Blue and White.