Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has reestablished a lead over its centrist rival Yesh Atid, even though most of the public is not satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister, a Channel 2 poll found.
The poll, broadcast Saturday evening, gives the Likud 28 seats (from its current 30), four clear of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid on 24 (from its current 11).
The survey, in which a representative sample of 503 Israelis were questioned, gives the Joint (Arab) List 13 seats, Isaac Herzog’s opposition Zionist Union 12, and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home 10 seats.
Next come Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu on 7, Shas on 7, United Torah Judaism on 7, Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu on 6 and Meretz on 6. Ex-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon’s anticipated new party fails to enter the Knesset in the survey.
Were such a result to emerge from elections, Netanyahu’s Likud would likely have no difficulty in forming a governing coalition and retaining power. Several previous recent polls had shown Likud and Yesh Atid neck and neck.
The survey was taken on Wednesday and Thursday by pollsters Midgam amid two political stories that might have been expected to damage the Likud — the announcement of new economic reforms by Kahlon without the involvement of Netanyahu, and a public argument at a Knesset committee session between bereaved parents and two Likud MKs.
The improvement by the Likud in the poll contrasted with the findings of a second question put to respondents. Asked if they were satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister, 33% said yes, 61% said no and 6% had no answer.
The poll had a ±4.4 margin of error.
A poll published on Israel’s Channel 10 a month ago found that the ruling Likud would win 26 Knesset seats, with Yesh Atid only just behind on 25.