Polls: Immunity Request Doesn’t Budge Party Numbers

YERUSHALAYIM -

In the first polls taken since Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ announced his decision to request immunity on Wednesday night, no significant change in the party alignments were seen, suggesting that the immunity issue will not hurt him at the polls in March.

A Channel 12 poll showed Blue and White ahead of Likud by a margin of 35 to 33 Knesset seats; Joint Arab List was steady with 13, Yisrael Beytenu, United Torah Judaism and Shas all had 8; New Right got 6; Labor-Gesher 5 and Meretz squeaked by with 4.

The small right-wing parties— Jewish Home, Otzma Yehudit and National Union—all face wipeout. Only if National Union will in the end merge with Jewish Home and Otzma Yehudit, which have already agreed to a joint list, will they have a chance to pass the electoral threshold.

Channel 13’s poll gave New Right 8 to Yisrael Beytenu’s 6.

But according to all three findings released on Thursday night, neither Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc nor Benny Gantz’s center left bloc seem to have any better chance at attaining a majority to form a government than they did after the September election.

However, a Panels Research poll sponsored by the The Jerusalem Post, found the gap between Blue and White much larger, 36 to 30. Meretz did not cross the threshold. Neither bloc got the upper hand.

When asked specifically how they felt about Netanyahu’s request for immunity, 47 percent disapproved, 35 approved and 18 had no opinion.

Channel 13 found that 50 percent are against it, only 27 in favor, the remainder had no opinion.