Netanyahu Plunges in Latest Poll

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s public approval rating for handling the coronavirus crisis has sunk some 28 points over the last two months, according to a poll released on Monday night.

The ‘Midgam’ Institute poll sponsored by Channel 12 News found that the Prime Minister’s support for his pandemic policies stands now at 46 percent, compared to 58 percent a week ago, and 74 percent two months ago. The numbers appear to reflect the sharp rise in virus cases during the period after it looked like the country had turned the corner and was on its way back to normalcy.

Just 33 percent of respondents approved of the PM’s handling of the economy, with a majority of right-wing voters saying they believed the crisis has been badly bungled.

Alongside Netanyahu’s personal downturn, his Likud party has also weakened. If elections were held today, the pollsters found, Likud would get 37 seats, down from 41 in the last poll.

Joint Arab List and Yesh Atid were again tied for second with 15 each. Yamina strengthened significantly in the poll, receiving 11 seats.

Blue and White had 11, up from the single-digit gloom of a couple of weeks ago. Shas had 9, Yisrael Beyteinu 8, United Torah Judaism 7, and Meretz 7.

The Labor, Jewish Home, Derech Eretz, and Gesher parties do not pass the electoral threshold.

Overall, the right right-religious bloc maintained its majority, with 64 seats, while Left/Arab axis had 48. An unaligned Yisrael Beyteinu with its 8 seats would not make a difference.