A new poll published by Channel 12 news suggests Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party is regaining supporters, while ex-Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope seems to be shedding them.
According to the poll, Likud would pick up 30 seats if new elections were held today, down from its current tally of 36 but up from other recent surveys.
New Hope would be the second-largest party in the Knesset with 15 seats. In a poll published by the network on December 15, Likud was forecast to pick up 27 seats and New Hope 21, signaling Netanyahu’s party is opening up a wide lead.
Following New Hope was Opposition Leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 14 seats, MK Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Yamina with 13 seats and the predominantly-Arab Joint List with 10.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, part of Netanyahu’s bloc, got eight seats a piece.
Rounding out the poll was MK Avigdor Liberman’s secular right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party with seven seats, the left-wing Meretz with six, Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White with five and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai’s The Israelis with four.
Even if Yamina were to return to Netahyahu’s right-wing religious bloc, the parties would together have 59 seats, two short of a majority, though it remains far from clear that parties opposed to the Likud chief could put aside their differences to form a government without him.
The survey, conducted by pollster Manu Geva, included 504 respondents and had a 4.4 percent margin of error.