Poll gives 67 seats to right-wing bloc as Likud widens lead over Blue and White

All right-wing parties pass electoral threshold in Haaretz survey, which also shows resurgent support for Netanyahu’s party as Gantz falls behind

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, February 28, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, February 28, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A poll published Wednesday showed all right-wing parties crossing the electoral threshold, giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a possible 67-seat bloc after the April 9 elections.

According to the Haaretz poll, Netanyahu’s Likud party would receive 30 seats, beating rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party who would win just 27.

Blue and White has consistently polled ahead of Likud since it was formed in February through a merger of Gantz’s Israel Resilience and Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, but has recently seen its lead over Likud slip in the polls, amid a series of negative campaigns.

Following the front runners, Labor would get 10 seats and the Union of Right Wing Parties — an alliance of the pro-settlement Jewish Home, National Union and extremist Otzma Yehudit — would get seven seats, as would Arab alliance Hadash-Ta’al.

A packed hall at the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama hears Blue and White chair Benny Gantz at a Times of Israel / Tel Aviv International Salon event on April 2, 2019 (Miriam Herschlag / Times of Israel)

The poll gave United Torah Judaism six seats. The New Right party, center-right Kulanu, right-wing Zehut, ultra-orthodox Shas and left-wing Meretz were all predicted by the survey to receive five seats apiece.

Yisrael Beiteinu and the Ra’am-Balad faction of Arab parties were both predicted to take four seats, with Gesher, led by independent MK Orly Levy-Abekasis, failing to pass the electoral threshold.

The survey was conducted under the supervision of Camil Fuchs, one of Israel’s leading pollsters, and included 1,002 respondents who were a representative sample of the population and questioned April 2-3. For the poll, 700 Jewish citizens of Israel were questioned online and around 150 were polled by phone. In addition, around 150 non-Jewish citizens were questioned by phone. The margin of error is 3.2%.

A television poll aired Tuesday also projected Likud as the largest party in Knesset, with some support for Blue and White flowing to a resurgent Labor Party.

According to Channel 13 news, Likud would receive 29 seats, just beating out Blue and White with 28. Meanwhile, support for Labor would jump to 14 seats, well above most other polls which showed it hovering close to 10 seats.

Labor party activists celebrate at the announcement of primary results in Tel Aviv on February 11, 2019 (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Following Labor in the survey was the Union of Right-Wing Parties with seven seats, after which Zehut, Hadash-Ta’al and United Torah Judaism received six seats apiece.

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party, the New Right, Meretz and Ra’am-Balad all received five seats, while rounding out the poll was Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu with four seats.

Among the notable parties that failed to clear the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent of the vote were former defense minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu and Gesher.

Based on the results of the poll, right-wing and religious parties would have 62 seats together, versus 58 for center-left and Arab parties, giving Netanyahu’s Likud an easier path to forming a majority government in the 120-seat Knesset.

The poll showed 46 percent of respondents preferring Netanyahu as prime minister over 37% for Gantz.

The survey was also conducted by Fuchs and included 856 respondents. It had a 3.4 percent margin of error.

The Channel 13 survey was one of the few polls since Blue and White came together to give Likud the largest number of seats.

On Sunday, Channel 12 news aired a poll in which even though Blue and White outscored Likud by four seats, a majority of respondents said they expect Netanyahu to again be prime minister after the elections.

That result again reflected the easier route Netanyahu is expected to have in cobbling together a ruling coalition in light of the overall strength of right-wing parties.

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