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2022 elections

Political deadlock unchanged in new poll, with Netanyahu bloc at 59 seats

Far-right Religious Zionism seen as third-largest party, on 13 seats; Ayelet Shaked still failing to clear electoral threshold after partnering with Jewish Home, Channel 13 survey shows

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (left) with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a Knesset session in memory of Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion, on November 8, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
File: Foreign Minister Yair Lapid next to opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a Knesset session in memory of Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion, on November 8, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

An election poll published Wednesday evening by Channel 13 indicated that Israel’s two rival political blocs — spearheaded by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu — remain deadlocked, as neither currently receives a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.

The poll showed that the Netanyahu-led bloc remains the slightly stronger one, polling at 59 seats compared with 56 for the bloc of parties that support Lapid. The non-aligned Joint List gets the remaining five.

Israeli TV polls are often unreliable in predicting final results, but they can offer a general overview of public opinion.

In the poll, Netanyahu’s Likud party won 31 seats; Lapid’s Yesh Atid was at 23; Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir’s Religious Zionism 13; Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa’ar’s National Unity 12; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 6; Meretz 5; Labor 5, Joint List 5; and Ra’am 4.

Not projected to cross the 3.25% vote threshold required to enter the Knesset are Yaron Zelekha’s New Economic Party, Hadar Muchtar’s Fiery Youth and Eli Avidar’s Israel Free and Democratic party.

Ayelet Shaked, who signed an agreement Tuesday with the Jewish Home party for a joint run in November’s elections — after blowing up her Zionist Spirit partnership with Yoaz Hendel — is still polling below the threshold, at 1.9%.

Asked who was most suitable to serve as premier, 46% said Netanyahu compared with 29% for Lapid. Asked to choose between Netanyahu and Gantz, 46% picked Netanyahu and 26% chose Gantz.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked holds a press conference at the Knesset, on March 8, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The poll also asked respondents who they would rather see serving as defense minister in the next government — Gantz, who currently holds the position, or Likud MK Yoav Gallant who has served as head of IDF Southern Command. Some 41% supported Gantz, while only 21% said they would prefer Gallant. Some 38% said they didn’t know.

Asked who they would prefer as justice minister, 36% supported the current minister, Sa’ar, while 25% supported Likud MK Yariv Levin. Some 39% said they didn’t know.

Asked to choose between Yesh Atid MK Yoav Segalovich, who currently serves as deputy public security minister, and far-right MK Ben Gvir for the position of public security minister, the votes were divided, with 38% supporting Segalovich and 33% supporting Ben Gvir. Some 29% said they didn’t know.

The poll surveyed 781 people and was carried out by Camil Fuchs’s Dialogue with a 3.7% margin of error.

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