Poll: Lapid-Livni merger would yield 17 Knesset seats
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Poll: Lapid-Livni merger would yield 17 Knesset seats

Likud would remain largest faction with 32 seats; Gantz’s party in third place with 12; Jewish Home supplanted by new Bennett-Shaked party, the New Right; Kulanu reduced to 4

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (left) with Hatnua head Tzipi Livni at the Knesset in 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (left) with Hatnua head Tzipi Livni at the Knesset in 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A merger between Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua parties would yield 17 Knesset seats, making it the second-largest party in the legislature, according to a poll published on Channel 12’s “Meet the Press” show on Saturday night.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud would maintain its position as the largest faction with 32 seats, an increase of two over the number it currently controls, the poll also showed.

Benny Gantz’s new Israel Resilience party would be the third-largest faction in the Knesset with 12 seats, while the right-wing Jewish Home party, which recently saw its two main leaders, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, split off from it, would fail to clear the electoral threshold to keep its place in the Knesset, the poll found.

With Bennett and Shaked at its helm, the New Right party would gain eight seats, the same number that Jewish Home currently controls, the poll said.

Respondents were also asked whether political novice Gantz, a former chief of the military, was acting wisely by not speaking out about his plans and policies. The poll showed that 44 percent thought he should express his views, 22% thought he was right to stay silent, and 34% said they did not know.

Other poll results showed Labor with eight seats, ultra-Orthodox parties United Torah Judaism and Shas with six each, Arab parties Ta’al and Joint List also with six each, Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu right-wing party with five, left-wing Meretz with five and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu and Orly Levy-Abekasis’s new slate, which plans to promote social issues, with four each.

The poll, carried out by the Midgam polling organization headed by Mina Tzemach and Mano Geva, sought the opinions of 1,007 respondents representing a cross-section of Israelis over 18 and had a margin of error of 3.1%.

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