Labor party sees uptick in support following primaries – poll
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Labor party sees uptick in support following primaries – poll

Left-wing faction would win 11 seats in April elections, survey finds; most Gantz voters prefer that he serve in the opposition if Netanyahu is prime minister

Avi Gabbay, leader of the Labor Party (C), with Labor MKs (R-L) Amir Peretz, Stav Shaffir, Itzik Shmuli and Shelly Yachimovich at a party meeting in Tel Aviv on February 13, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Avi Gabbay, leader of the Labor Party (C), with Labor MKs (R-L) Amir Peretz, Stav Shaffir, Itzik Shmuli and Shelly Yachimovich at a party meeting in Tel Aviv on February 13, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Labor party has gained some support following its primaries earlier this week, according to a poll released on Thursday morning.

The center-left faction would win 11 seats, trailing Likud and the Israel Resilience Party and on par with Yesh Atid, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

Two former leaders of the 2011 social protest movement, Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir, took top spots in Labor’s primary election Tuesday night.

Their high placing is seen as a vote for a younger generation of leadership for the party. Labor was set to score its lowest ever election result, with previous polls predicting it getting only five to seven seats.

Support for Likud remained steady at 30 seats, while Israel Resilience would snag 20 seats and the New Right polled at 10.

Pollsters found that a merger between Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would win 29 seats in the April 9 national elections.

Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right. (Flash90)

United Torah Judaism, Yisrael Beytenu, the Joint List and Ta’al would win six seats apiece, Shas five, and Kulanu and Meretz were ranked at four seats each.

The pollsters also found that most Israel Resilience voters — 54 percent — prefer that party chairman Gantz remain in the opposition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully forms the next government. Twenty percent said Gantz should be named defense minister.

The pollsters queried a representative sample of 735 Jewish and Arab Israelis Wednesday night and noted a 3.5% margin of error.

While horse-race polls are an almost daily occurrence in Israel in the months leading up to elections and are not seen as overly reliable, taken together the surveys can often serve as a general gauge of the political climate and where the vote may be headed.

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