The center-left Yesh Atid party would win the most seats if elections were held today, outscoring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, according to a poll published by Israel’s Channel 1 on Monday.
The party chaired by Yair Lapid has been steadily climbing in recent polls. But according to Monday’s survey, Israelis still prefer Netanyahu over Lapid for the premiership.
In Monday’s survey, the pollsters found that Yesh Atid would more than double its current 11 Knesset seats to win 25 seats, while Likud would plummet from the 30 seats it currently holds to only 21.
The Joint (Arab) List and Jewish Home would each win 13, the poll predicted.
The Zionist Union — an amalgam of the once mighty Labor and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party and currently the second-largest party in the Knesset — would sink to become only the fifth-largest party, with 12 seats.
Yisrael Beytenu would win 9 seats according to the poll, the Shas party would get 8, United Torah Judaism would get 7, and the Kulanu and Meretz parties would each receive 6 seats.
But when asked who they would prefer as prime minister, 24 percent of respondents preferred Netanyahu while only 17% supported Lapid. No other candidate received double-digit support, but 29% of respondents answered “No one.”
Only 2% of those polled wanted former prime minister Ehud Barak to return as premier. In 2012, Barak retired from politics, but over the past few weeks, the former prime minister has hinted at a possible political comeback.
The margin of error for the poll, breakdown of respondents, or timing were not published by the channel.
Formed by Lapid in 2012, the Yesh Atid party stormed to a surprising 19-seat success in the 2013 elections for the Knesset, becoming the second largest party and then joining the Likud in a coalition.
In the 2015 elections, the party slid to the 11 seats it currently holds in the Knesset, where it sits in the opposition.
Netanyahu has served as prime minister since 2009, winning three straight elections. While elections aren’t scheduled until 2019, some analysts predict Netanyahu’s shaky coalition of 66 seats will fall before then.
A Channel 2 poll earlier this month predicted a 24-22 lead for Yesh Atid over Likud, with the Zionist Union landing 13 seats.