Polls show Israel Resilience, Yesh Atid losing seats to Labor
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Polls show Israel Resilience, Yesh Atid losing seats to Labor

Ex-army chief Benny Gantz’s party slips to 18 seats in one survey and Yair Lapid-headed faction falls to 10 in another, as Labor continues to show slight surge after primary

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Benny Gantz, head of the Israel Resilience party, speaks at an event to open his election campaign in Tel Aviv on January 29, 2019. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)
Benny Gantz, head of the Israel Resilience party, speaks at an event to open his election campaign in Tel Aviv on January 29, 2019. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Two opinion polls published Sunday showed support slipping for ex-army chief Benny Gantz’s political party, while voters showed increasing interest in other centrist or center-left parties for the coming Knesset elections, including the previously flagging Labor party.

The surveys, published by Channel 12 television news and the Kan public broadcaster, both gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party 30 seats if elections were held now.

Trailing behind with 18 predicted seats according to the Channel 12 poll was Gantz’s Israel Resilience, which is running on a joint ticket with the Telem party headed by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon. The result was three seats less than the united parties scored in a previous poll by the station nearly two weeks ago.

In the Kan poll, Israel Resilience garnered 20 seats, the same as the broadcaster’s previous poll last weekend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, February 5, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Both polls predicted Labor maintaining 10 seats, continuing a trend that has seen a several-seat bump for the faction since it held its primary last week, which saw it fill several top spots with popular young candidates.

Pre-primary polls had shown the party getting 5-7 seats.

While Channel 12 predicted 12 seats for Yesh Atid, Kan gave the centrist party only 10.

Yesh Atid and Israel Resilience have been involved in intensive unity talks, though negotiations have apparently snagged on who would lead the joint ticket.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid presenting his party’s platform on LGBT rights in a press conference in Tel Aviv on February 7, 2019. (Courtesy)

The Channel 12 poll predicted a Gantz-Lapid merger managing to barely best Likud 32 to 31.

If he heads an alliance with Yesh Atid, Gantz is seen as having a chance of winning more seats in the elections than the ruling Likud led by Netanyahu, but would still be unable to put together a majority coalition from center or left-wing parties. Based on polls so far, Netanyahu is expected to be tasked with forming the next government.

While horse-race polls are an almost daily occurrence in Israel in the months leading up to elections and are not seen as overly reliable, taken together the surveys can often serve as a general gauge of the political climate and where the vote may be headed.

The Channel 12 survey was conducted by Midgam and sampled 500 Israeli voters. The Kan broadcaster poll, conducted by Direct Polls, sampled 543 people.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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