Poll shows center-left could block Netanyahu coalition in next election

A Channel 10 survey has a center-left bloc of 61 seats, however Channel 12 gives current right-wing government a majority with 62 seats

Newly elected Labour party leader Avi Gabay at the Labour party primaries headquarters in Tel Aviv on July 10, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Newly elected Labour party leader Avi Gabay at the Labour party primaries headquarters in Tel Aviv on July 10, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A new poll conducted by Channel 10 news on Wednesday indicated a bloc of center-left parties in the Knesset would have enough seats to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud from forming a coalition, if elections were held today.

The results showed that although Likud would be the single biggest party with 26 seats — down from its current 30 — Netanyahu would struggle to form a coalition.

According to the survey, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would win 22 seats (up from 11). The Zionist Union, with new leader Avi Gabbay, would win 19 (down from 24 but an increase compared to previous recent polls), the Joint (Arab) List would win 12 seats (down from 13) and the left-wing Meretz would gain three seats pushing it up to eight.

In total, the current parties of the opposition would have 61 seats — enough to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government. However, both Lapid and Gabbay have said they would not form a government with the Joint (Arab) List, so the poll also does not show a clear way for them to form a strictly center-left government.

The poll also showed that the Jewish Home would win 11 seats, up from its current eight; Kulanu would get seven seats, down from 10;  Yisrael Beytenu and United Torah Judaism would both retain on five and six respectively, and Shas would just scrape by the threshold with four seats, down from its current seven.

However, a poll by Channel 12 news (formerly Channel 2) on Wednesday showed a slightly different picture, giving the center-left bloc just 58 seats and giving Gabbay a slight lead over Lapid.

According to the survey, the Zionist Union would win 21 seats, Yesh Atid would go up to 20, the Joint (Arab) List would win 12 seats, and Meretz would remain with its current five seats.

The current coalition would lose a total of four seats — giving it 62 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. According to the survey, Netanyahu’s Likud party would drop to 24, Jewish Home would win 12 seats, Kulanu would get eight seats, Yisrael Beytenu would have six, UTJ would win eight, and Shas would get four.

A general election is currently set for November 2019, but with Netanyahu under investigation for a raft of scandals, some analysts believe it may come sooner than planned.

The Channel 12 poll also found that 52% of people thought that Netanyahu should step down as prime minister at the end of his current term and only 38% felt he should remain for another term.

The Channel 12 pollsters surveyed 503 respondents with a representative national sample of the entire Israeli population aged 18 and over. The poll had a maximum sampling error of 4.4%.

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