A poll published on Friday found that the ruling Likud party would win 31 seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, keeping it as the largest faction in parliament with one more seat than it currently has.
Following Likud in the survey, conducted on behalf of Channel 10 by the Midgam project and Statnet, was the Yesh Atid party, which would win 18 seats compared to its current 11. The Zionist Union would take 13 seats, down from 24, and the Joint (Arab) List would garner 12, one fewer than its current total.
According to the poll, right-wing Jewish Home would win 11 seats (10), the left-wing Meretz would win 7 seats (5), Kulanu 6 (10), Yisrael Beytenu 6 (5), United Torah Judaism 6 (6) and Shas 5 (7). Those figures mean that the parties in the current coalition would hold 65 seats in the 120-member Knesset.
Those polled in the survey were also asked who in their opinion is most suited to head the government — 39% answered Benjamin Netanyahu, 13% Yair Lapid, 7% Avi Gabbay, 6% Naftali Bennett and 4% Avigdor Liberman.
It did not factor in reports of former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz being in talks with the Zionist Union to be the party’s candidate for prime minister in the next national elections.
Senior sources in the Zionist Union, an alliance between the Labor and Hatnuah parties, told Maariv Friday that they are close to reaching an agreement whereby Gantz will be the Union’s candidate for the premiership in the next election, while Gabbay will remain its chairman and first on its roster.
The report said internal polling showed that with Gantz at the helm, the Union could win 25 seats in the Knesset, as opposed to 15 with Gabbay.
Gabbay, speaking to Haaretz, confirmed that Gantz was considering joining the Zionist Union but denied any deal had been made. “We have no agreement on anything,” he said.
According to the report political leaders believe Israel’s next election will be held in early or mid-2019.