Poll Shows Likud Up to 31, Sa’ar, Yesh Atid With 16 Each

Ballots being counted at the Knesset, March 4, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Likud is continuing to regain its electoral strength, a new poll shows, after having plummeted ten seats during the coronavirus crisis.

The new poll was conducted by Panels Politics, surveying 522 respondents online via the Panel4All agency, and was published Friday morning by Ma’ariv.

The poll found that a growing number of Israelis are willing to support either New Hope chief Gideon Sa’ar or Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett as prime minister in head-to-head matchups against Binyamin Netanyahu.

In the two matchups, 43% of respondents said they preferred Netanyahu, compared to 40% who favor Sa’ar; 33% said they preferred Bennett as premier over Netanyahu, compared to 41% who favor Netanyahu serving an additional term.

Netanyahu enjoys a far larger lead over Lapid (54% to 32%).

If new elections were held today, the poll found that the Likud would win 31 seats, up from 30 in the previous Panels Politics poll, which was released Tuesday. That is still down from the 36 seats the party has in the current Knesset, but up significantly from the low of 26 seats the party received in a poll published two weeks ago, just after Sa’ar formed his new party.

In a distant second is New Hope, which slipped from 17 seats in Tuesday’s poll to 16 seats Friday, tying with Yesh Atid, which rose from 14 seats to 16.

The Yamina party remained stable this week at 11 seats, while the Joint Arab List again received 10 seats, the same as in Tuesday’s poll.

Among the chareidi parties, Shas received eight seats, as did United Torah Judaism.

Yisrael Beytenu retained its seven seats in the poll, while Meretz held steady at five.

Blue and White and The Israelis parties both narrowly crossed the electoral threshold with four seats each.

The new Religious Zionism Party of Betzalel Smotrich, which broke away this week from Yamina, received 2.0% in Friday’s poll, failing to clear the electoral threshold.

Otzma Yehudit received 1.4%, while Labor fell to just 0.7%.

The right-wing bloc received a total of 58 seats, compared to 39 seats for the left-wing bloc. Yisrael Beytenu and New Hope, both of which have vowed not to sit in a government with Netanyahu, received a combined 23 seats.