Gantz-Lapid Reunion Would Be Israel's Second Largest Party, New Election Poll Shows

With Likud still in the lead, Channel 12 poll points to an easy path to government for Netanyahu

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Yair Lapid (L) and Benny Gantz go to embrace on the March campaign trail, Tel Aviv, March 3, 2020.
Yair Lapid (L) and Benny Gantz go to embrace on the March campaign trail, Tel Aviv, March 3, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod

Opposition leader Yair Lapid and Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz might have their best electoral chances if they chose to run together again in the event of a fourth election, a new Channel 12 poll shows. 

The duo, who fell out following Gantz's decision to join into a national unity government with Netanyahu at the peak of the coronavirus crisis, would garner 25 seats, six seats shy of Netanyahu's Likud, but beating the far-right Yamina alliance led by former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

In contrast, if Lapid chose to go with Ron Huldai, the current Tel Aviv mayor mulling a shot at national politics, they would tie with Yamina at 21 seats, while Likud would get 30 seats. 

According to the political alliances currently in play, Likud would take 30 seats, Yamina 21, Yesh Atid 17, the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties 12 and Kahol Lavan 10.

The Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party would garner eight seats, as would its Mizrahi counterpart Shas. Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu and the left-wing Meretz would both get seven seats, while Gesher, Derech Eretz, Habayit Hayehudi and Labor would fail to pass the electoral threshold. 

In this configuration, Netanyahu would likely have a reasonably easy path to forming a government that would include Likud, Yamina, and the two ultra-Orthodox parties. But nothing is certain in Israeli politics, and Yamina has previously shown itself to be a tough friend for Likud.