National Unity continues to outpoll Likud, and Gantz still favored over Netanyahu

Surveys on Kan, Channels 13 and 14 all predict current government would lose majority; respondents select National Unity leader over prime minister in head-to-head matchup

Then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and then-defense minister Benny Gantz in September 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi, Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and then-defense minister Benny Gantz in September 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi, Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Three separate opinion polls released on Sunday all showed that the current government would lose its parliamentary majority if elections were held today, although the surveys differed significantly on the overall predicted outcome.

According to a Channel 13 poll, the parties in the current coalition — Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudit — would receive just 49 combined seats, far short of the 64 they currently control. The Kan public broadcaster predicted that the coalition parties would earn 51 seats in an upcoming election, while the staunchly right-wing Channel 14’s poll suggested the current government would get 58 combined seats.

Israel is not currently in an election period and the next scheduled vote is slated for the end of 2026 — though it could come at any time if the government falls. Nevertheless, such polls — which are not necessarily reliable — are often said to exert great influence on politicians and parties.

The big winner across all three polls was predicted to be National Unity party leader Benny Gantz, whose party was slated to receive 28-30 seats, more than double its current 12. The Channel 13 poll showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party dropping to 22 seats, while Kan predicted 25 seats and Channel 14 suggested it would drop just one seat from its current 32 to 31.

All three polls predicted that the left-wing Labor would not pass the electoral threshold at all, but that Meretz — currently outside the Knesset — would do so, receiving 4-5 seats. Kan and Channel 14 predicted Balad would also remain out of the Knesset, but Channel 13 found the Arab nationalist party would get 4 seats.

Kan and Channel 14 both predicted that the combined Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudit slate would receive 9 seats, down from its current 14, while Channel 12 expected the parties would receive 11 seats. Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu were predicted to be largely unchanged.

A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Israel’s coastal city of Tel Aviv on November 1, 2022. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

A plurality of respondents in all three polls chose Gantz over Netanyahu in a head-to-head matchup over who was best suited to serve as prime minister.

Sunday’s polls continued a trend seen in such surveys over the past month, which predict a surge in support for National Unity, as it appears to pull significant support from Likud amid the national turmoil over the ruling party’s efforts to curtail the powers of the judiciary.

The Channel 13 poll was carried out by Prof. Camil Fuchs and included 700 respondents, with a margin of error of 3.7%; the Kan poll, administered by the Kantar Institute, polled 600 respondents with a margin of error of 4%; the Channel 14 poll by DirectPolls surveyed 947 respondents with a margin of error of 3.3%.

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