Far-right Party Leaps Forward in Election Poll as Netanyahu's Likud Loses Strength

Surveys conducted by public broadcaster and Channel 13 News show right-wing-Haredi bloc garnering Knesset majority

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Yamina head Naftali Bennett during a Knesset session, August 5, 2020.
Yamina head Naftali Bennett during a Knesset session, August 5, 2020.Credit: Adina Wolman / Knesset Spokesperson's Office

If another election was held in Israel now, the far-right Yamina alliance would see a significant increase at the expense of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, two new opinion polls from the Kan Public Broadcaster and Channel 13 News show.

The Channel News 13 poll projects that the right-wing-Haredi bloc would have a 63-seat majority in the Knesset, giving 49 seats to the center-left bloc and eight to Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu. Kan gives 62 seats to the rightist bloc and 51 to the center-left, and eight to Yisrael Beiteinu.

Both polls give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud a decisive lead, with 29 seats from Channel 13 and 30 from Kan. Yamina, led by former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, which won just seven Knesset seats in the previous election in March, would receive a projected 19 seats according to Channel 13's poll and 15 according to Kan.

In Channel 13's poll, Yesh Atid-Telem, a faction that broke away from Kahol Lavan after party leader Benny Gantz decided to join a coalition alongside Netanyahu, also received 19 seats. Kan's poll puts the party ahead of Yamina, with 17 seats.

In both polls, the Joint List of Arab-majority parties remains third, with a projected 15 seats from Channel 13 and 16 from Kan – consistent with its March performance, in which it won 15 seats.

Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan dropped below its former partners, gaining a projected 8 seats from Channel 13 and 12 from Kan. It had won 33 seats in March.

Behind it in both polls are the ultra-Orthodox parties Shas (eight seats from Channel 13, nine from Kan) and United Torah Judaism (seven from Channel 13, eight from Kan).

The left-wing Meretz party rounds out both polls, with seven seats from Channel 13 and six from Kan. Labor, former Kahol Lavan faction Derech Eretz, the religious Zionist Habayit Hayehudi and Gesher all failed to cross the electoral threshold.

In May, Yamina announced that the party is refusing to join the governing coalition, calling it a "left-wing government headed by Netanyahu." The party's statement said that it was preparing for "the day after Netanyahu."

The Channel 13 poll was conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs, and surveyed 704 respondents; 604 of them Jewish and 100 Arab, with a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

The Kan poll was conducted by the Kantar Group, and surveyed a sample representative of the adult population of Israel. The survey was conducted online, and included 559 respondents with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

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