Poll: Party Headed by Ex-general Eisenkot Would Take 4 Seats From Netanyahu's Bloc

A potential new party headed by Gadi Eisenkot would get 15 Knesset seats, Channel 13 poll suggests, but right-wing parties would still have a 61-seat majority

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Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, April 19, 2019
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, April 19, 2019Credit: Ofer Vaknin

A right-wing bloc led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would retain a Knesset majority in an election, a poll published on Wednesday shows, even if a new party, headed by former Israeli army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot joins the race.

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According to the Channel 13 News poll, released after the Knesset's preliminary vote to dissolve itself, Netanyahu’s Likud party would remain Israel's biggest party.

The speculative Eisenkot-led party, with members including former justice and foreign minister Tzipi Livni and incumbent Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, would secure 15 seats out of 120 Knesset seats, taking a Netanyahu-led bloc from 65 seats down to 61, according to the poll.

Netanyahu's Likud would get 29 seats if Eisenkot doesn't form his party, the poll finds – two more than polling results released on November 24. With an Eisenkot-led party, it is predicted 27.

Right-wing Yamina party, headed by Naftali Bennett, maintains its strong showing in the polls with 22 projected seats, one down from Channel 13's last poll.

The Joint List, a predominantly Arab alliance of four parties, was projected 11 seats, four fewer than it has in the current Knesset and one down from the previous poll.

The right-wing bloc, including ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, would get a 65-seat majority, according to the poll.

24 percent of respondents said Netanyahu was most fit to serve as prime minister, followed by Bennett with 19 percent, Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid with 14 and Kahol Lavan's Benny Gantz with 13.

Forty-five percent of those polled said that if the country goes to another round of elections, the fourth in under two years, Netanyahu would be to blame. Twenty percent blamed Gantz and 25 percent responded that both are equally responsible.

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