Election Poll Shows Gantz Will Struggle to Form Coalition Despite Lead Over Netanyahu

According to Friday morning's Yedioth Ahronoth poll, the left-wing bloc has 57 seats to the right's 63 ■ Labor Party shows the most pronounced rise, from nine seats to 11

Benny Gantz visits the demonstration for Gaza border communities in Tel Aviv, April 4, 2019.
Moti Milrod

Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan party maintains a four-seat lead over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud ahead of Tuesday's election, though the right-wing bloc still leads overall, a poll published Friday by the daily Yedioth Ahronoth shows.

Both top parties, however, lost a seat since the newspaper's previous survey a week ago.

Despite Gantz's 30-to-26 lead over Likud in the poll, the former military chief of staff would have a hard time forming a government. Netanyahu's base of ultra-Orthodox, right-wing and far-right parties would have 63 seats, while Kahol Lavan, center-left, left-wing and Arab parties would have 57. There are 120 seats in the Knesset.

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The Labor Party, however, gained two seats in the Yedioth poll to 11. The other parties were unchanged.

The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party and Arab-majority Hadash-Ta'al both have seven seats, while Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's Hayamin Hehadash has six.

The Union of Right-Wing Parties, Moshe Kahlon's center-right Kulanu, Moshe Feiglin's far-right Zehut, ultra-Orthodox Shas and left-wing Meretz all have five. Avigdor Lieberman's right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu and United Arab List-Balad have four. In this week's poll as well, Orli Levi-Abekasis' Gesher party failed to reach the 3.25 percent electoral threshold, about four seats.

Sources in Kahol Lavan said Tuesday that Gantz planned to propose a coalition with Kulanu, Zehut and ultra-Orthodox parties. Even if more parties recommend that Netanyahu form a government, Gantz believes that President Reuven Rivlin will ask him to do so if Kahol Lavan does significantly better than Likud at the polls.