If elections were to be held now, current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would enjoy a significant lead over his rivals, a new poll by Israel Hayom revealed on Sunday.
Asking respondents who they would vote for in a hypothetical election, the poll showed the Likud under Netanyahu receiving 31 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, comfortably ahead of Labor (17 seats), Yisrael Beitenu (14 seats) and Kadima (13 seats). Yesh Atid, the new party under journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid, would garner a respectable 12 seats, and the once-mighty Shas, nine seats.
The results for the smaller parties were: United Torah Judaism (5), Meretz (4), Hadash (4),Habayit Hayehudi (3), United Arab List-Ta’al (3), Balad (3) and The National Union (2).
According to the poll, the Independence Party, founded last year by current Defense Minister Ehud Barak as a breakaway from Labor, would not enter the next Knesset, nor would Am Shalem, founded by Rabbi Haim Amsalem as a breakaway from Shas.
In answer to the question of who would make the best prime minister, Netanyahu again was preferred over his rivals, with 29.1 percent of those polled indicating he was their choice. Avigdor Lieberman was a distant second at 9.2%, followed by Yair Lapid (7%) and Shaul Mofaz (4.6%).
The poll was a survey of 500 Israelis over the age of 18 taken last week, the evening before Independence Day, with a margin of error of ±4.5%.