A month after the establishment of the new government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Israelis are still split on whether they support the coalition, and a plurality continues to prefer Benjamin Netanyahu as premier, according to a survey published Monday.
The Channel 12 survey showed 45 percent of respondents were pleased with the new government while 45% were dissatisfied with it.
But nearly half (49%) praised its handling of the pandemic, while 38% were displeased.
In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have surged in the country, mostly due to the Delta variant, which has become a major issue for Bennett’s new government, coming less than two months after the number of cases had dwindled as a result of mass vaccination, which allowed Israel to lift most restrictions and reopen public life.
Were elections to be held now, the poll indicated, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 30 seats, again becoming the largest party, followed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 19. That would be followed by Shas with 9; Blue and White 8; Bennett’s Yamina 8; Labor 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 7; Joint List 6; Religious Zionism 5; New Hope 5; Ra’am 4; and Meretz 4.
The parties that make up the current coalition would have a combined 63 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, up from the 61 they have now.
Asked about their preferred choice for prime minister, 40% said Netanyahu, 24% Yair Lapid, and just 14% picked current premier Bennett.
The survey was conducted among 502 adult participants by pollster Mano Geva’s Midgam Institute, but the report did not reveal the margin of error.
After four rounds of elections, an unlikely alliance of right-wing, left-wing, centrist, and Islamist parties was sworn as Israel’s new government last month, ending Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.
If the government manages to overcome the deep disagreements between its various parties and remain stable, the next election is scheduled for November 2025.