Poll: Half of voters want unity government, as support for Liberman rises

Yisrael Beytenu chief retains his kingmaker status in TV survey, with both right-wing and center-left blocs unable to form majority without him

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman at his party's campaign launch in Tel Aviv, on July 30, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman at his party's campaign launch in Tel Aviv, on July 30, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Half of Israeli voters want to see a unity government between the Likud and Blue and White parties that does not include ultra-Orthodox factions after the upcoming elections, according to a television poll aired Thursday.

Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, whose party is currently predicted to be coalition kingmaker after the September 17 vote, has vowed to force a coalition of Likud and Blue and White that does not include religious parties if no one can form a ruling majority without him.

While Blue and White chief Benny Gantz has voiced support for a unity government, albeit without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud has been dismissive of the proposal, and insists on a coalition with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties.

In a Channel 13 news survey, 50 percent of respondents said they want a unity government between Likud and Blue and White, whereas 23% said they want a coalition of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties.

Another 13% said they want a government that includes Likud, Blue and White and the ultra-Orthodox, while 10% said they want a coalition that includes center-left parties and the ultra-Orthodox.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Benny Gantz, right. (Hadas Parush/Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The poll also saw growing support for Yisrael Beytenu, which was forecasted to win 11 seats. The party has received 9-10 seats in most recent polls.

Likud kept its status as the largest party in the survey with 30 seats, followed by Blue and White with 29.

Like Yisrael Beytenu, both United Right and the Joint (Arab) List got 11 seats, while the newly formed left-wing Democratic Camp alliance received nine.

The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism and Shas parties received seven and six seats, respectively.

Rounding out the poll was Labor with six seats, the same as the historic low it received in April’s elections.

Together, the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties would have 54 seats without Liberman, while the center-left and Arab factions would have 55, a situation in which neither side could form a coalition without Yisrael Beytenu.

The survey was conducted for the network by pollster Camil Fuchs and was made up of 703 respondents. It had a 4% margin of error.

The poll was published just hours before the Thursday night deadline for parties to submit their electoral slates to the Knesset Election Committee, after which they can longer make changes to their lists of candidates.

The second round of elections this year was called after Netanyahu was unable to form a majority coalition without Liberman, who conditioned his joining a government on a bill formalizing exemptions to military service for ultra-Orthodox students.

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