Gantz builds strong lead over Netanyahu in new poll

Minister Benny Gantz, right, shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset in Jerusalem, on December 25, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Minister Benny Gantz, right, shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset in Jerusalem, on December 25, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Benny Gantz’s National Unity party is widening its lead over Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and would be well-placed to form a strong coalition if elections were held today, according to a new Channel 12 poll.

The survey, conducted by Mano Geva / Midgam, shows the anti-Netanyahu bloc swelling to 70 Knesset seats out of 120, led by Gantz’s National Unity party with 37 seats. The Netanyahu bloc would garner 45 seats, the poll shows.

According to the survey, the Likud party would garner 18 seats, down sharply from the 32 seats it won in December 2022. Its current coalition partners Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Otzma Yehudit led by far-right minister Itamar Ben Gvir would draw 11, seven and nine seats respectively.

The leading opposition party, Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid, would draw 15 seats, down from 24 seats currently. The center-right Yisrael Beytenu party, led by Avigdor Liberman would garner nine seats, up from six in the 2022 elections.

The Arab-majority parties Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am would garner five seats each and the left-wing Meretz party would take four seats. Religious Zionism, Balad, and the Labor parties would get 0 seats, according to the poll.

Asked who they would prefer as prime minister, 43% of respondents said Gantz and 27% said Netanyahu. If Lapid were up against Netanyahu, 31% would choose the Yesh Atid leader and 25% would choose the incumbent.

A majority of 51% said new elections should be advanced while 39% said not now. Ten percent said they did not know.

Asked if war cabinet ministers Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, who joined an emergency government days after the October 7 attacks, should leave, 43% said no and 31% said yes. Some 26% of respondents said they did not know.

Asked about a new draft plan that would increase the amount of time conscripts and reservists serve in the military without addressing exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox community, 53% of respondents said they oppose it while 26% said they support the plan. Twenty-one percent said they did not know.

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