Poll results released on Thursday indicate that if elections were held now, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc would lose its majority, and the deadlock with the center-left would resume.
The findings of veteran pollster Kamil Fuchs reported by Haaretz on Thursday runs counter to polls in recent months consistently showing PM Netanyahu with a majority.
Fuchs explained why this poll came out differently: because most undecided voters are on the center-left, skewing the survey results in favor of the right. Therefore, researchers asked people whether they would vote for a right-wing, left-wing, centrist or chareidi party, which yielded 55-56 seats for both blocs in the 120-seat Knesset.
The poll comes amid reports that Netanyahu is seeking a way to dissolve the coalition and go to elections later in the year. This, despite prior reports that he would not want to run again while the health and economic crises continue. Although other polls predict he would maintain his majority, his own approval ratings have sunk significantly as the re-opening of the economy has largely failed.
Two polls released later on Thursday found Netanyahu’s bloc with 60-63 seats, but the Likud itself losing support as right-wing voters switched to Naftali Bennett’s Yamina.
According to Channel 13, Likud would have 31 seats, down from 36 about 2 weeks ago; Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid 19, doubling its strength since the March elections; Yamina 16, up from its current 5; the Joint (Arab) List steady at 15; Benny Gantz’s Blue and White 11; Yisrael Beytenu 8; Meretz 7; and chareidi parties slightly down with United Torah Judaism 7 and Shas 6.
A Channel 12, Likud would get 32 seats; Yesh Atid 18; Joint List 15; Yamina 15; Blue and White 9; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 8; Meretz 8; Yisrael Beytenu 7.
Updated Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 3:22 pm update