Poll: Right Increases in Strength, Two Thirds Would Vote for Netanyahu Regardless

A combination picture shows Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

A poll conducted after Benny Gantz informed President Reuven Rivlin that he was unable to form a government, but before State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges shows that support for the right – the Likud – remains strong. The Ma’agar Hamochot poll taken on behalf of Yisrael Hayom shows the right getting 56 seats in follow-up elections, with 44 for the center-left. The balance is split between the United Arab List (13) and Yisrael Beytenu (7).

Blue and White would remain the biggest party, with 34 seats, one more than it currently has, while the Likud would increase by two seats, to 33. Shas would fall to 8 seats from its current 9, while United Torah Judaism would rise from 7 to 8 seats in new elections. Yemina would increase from 5 to 7. The Democratic Camp would remain steady at 6 seats, while Labor would just manage to get Knesset representation, garnering 4 seats, two fewer than it currently has.

When asked who bore the greatest responsibility for the likelihood that Israel would go to a third round of elections, 34% pointed to Netanyahu, while 31% blamed Avigdor Liberman. Only 4% said Gantz was responsible, but 9% said that his party-mate Yair Lapid had prevented him from moving forward with a unity government. Two percent blamed the chareidi parties, while 20% had not made up their minds.

The poll was largely taken on Thursday, hours before Mandelblit said that Netanyahu was to be indicted in three corruption cases – but after news reports made it clear that the indictment recommendations would be made. When asked how the indictments would impact their support of the prime minister, 64% of respondents said that it would make no difference, while 18% said that they would probably not vote for the Likud again. Four percent said that it would make them change their votes to choose the Likud, headed by Netanyahu.

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