Poll Continues to Show Deadlock in Blocs

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

With three weeks to go before the elections, Israelis appear to remain firm in their political stances. A poll by Yisrael Hayom Friday shows that both the right and left blocs would be unable to form a government on their own without “stealing” MKs from the other side – and that Yisrael Beytenu remains the kingmaker.

The poll shows Blue and White getting 36 seats and the Likud 34 – nearly even. On the right, Yemina and Shas would both get 8 seats, and United Torah Judaism 7, for a total of 57 seats. On the left, Blue and White would join with Labor-Meretz-Gesher’s 8 seats for a total of 44. If the United Arab List joins the coalition or supports it from the outside with its 13 seats, Blue and White head Benny Gantz could count on 57 seats in a vote to form a government. Otzma Yehudit does not pass the electoral threshold.

Yisrael Beytenu, with 6 seats, holds the key to forming a government with either side. The party’s leader, Avigdor Liberman, has twice rejected a coalition with the Likud and Binyamin Netanyahu, but has also declared that he would not join a coalition supported by the United Arab List.

Analysts told Yisrael Hayom that it may come down to who actually comes out to vote. According to the poll, United Torah Judaism voters are the most likely to come to the polls, with 79% of them declaring that they would “definitely” vote for UTJ. Shas supporters are the second most likely to vote, with 65% saying they would choose Shas. The weakest support is among those who said they would vote for Yemina; only 28% of those supporting it were sure they would vote for the party. Yisrael Beytenu supporters were the least likely to come to vote altogether, with only a third saying they would definitely exercise their right to vote.

The poll also shows that voters prefer Netanyahu as prime minister by a wide margin over Gantz. 47% of voters said the Likud leader was the best choice for prime minister, while only 34% said they preferred Gantz.