New poll: More voters want a unity government without Liberman than one with him
United Right heads for 12 seats, Democratic Camp 7, Labor 6

New poll: More voters want a unity government without Liberman than one with him

Channel 12 survey shows almost 60% would not support a coalition comprising Likud, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu

Yisrael Beytenu party leader MK Avigdor Liberman speaks at a faction meeting at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on June 24, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Yisrael Beytenu party leader MK Avigdor Liberman speaks at a faction meeting at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on June 24, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

More Israeli voters would prefer a unity government made up of the ruling Likud party and centrist Blue and White than one that would include Yisrael Beytenu headed by Avigdor Liberman, according to a new television poll aired Saturday evening by Israel’s Channel 12.

The poll, which surveyed 503 respondents and with a margin of error of 4.4 percent conducted by iPanel, showed that were Israeli elections held today, 59% would not support a unity government made up of the Likud, Blue and White, and Yisrael Beytenu, compared with 54% who would oppose a unity government that would exclude Liberman.

According to the survey, should the vote be held today, the Likud headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would win 30 Knesset seats, Blue and White would garner 29 seats, and Yisrael Beytenu would win 10 seats.

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

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leader of the Yisrael Beytenu political party Avigdor Liberman at the Israeli parliament on May 25, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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.

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.

According to the Channel 12 poll on Saturday, the United Right party headed by Ayelet Shaked would win 12 seats, giving the right-wing bloc headed by the Likud 42 seats, excluding Yisrael Beytenu and the ultra-Orthodox parties.

With them, the right-wing bloc would grow to 67 seats.

The left-wing bloc also amounted to 42 seats, according to the survey, with Blue and White’s 29, the newly formed left-wing Democratic Camp alliance with 7 seats, and Labor-Gesher’s 6.

Among the ultra-Orthodox parties, United Torah Judaism would garner 8 seats and Shas would win 7. The Joint (Arab) List would take 11 seats, according to the poll.

The extremist right-wing Otzma Yehudit faction was not set to cross the electoral threshold, the survey showed.

Earlier this week, a Channel 13 news survey found that 50 percent of respondents said they wanted a unity government between Likud and Blue and White, whereas 23% said they wanted a coalition of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties

According to that poll, another 13% said they wanted a government that includes Likud, Blue and White and the ultra-Orthodox, while 10% said they wanted 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.

A total of 32 parties are set to run in the election after having submitted their electoral slates to the Knesset Election Committee on Thursday after which they can longer make changes to their lists of candidates.

The total of 32 factions is down from the last election cycle, when a record 47 parties registered for the April 9 vote. The smaller number is partially a result of mergers between parties after several weeks of horse-trading.

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