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

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

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