Gantz and Netanyahu Neck and Neck in Election Polls, With Clear Advantage for Right-wing Bloc

Asked who they believe would form a governing coalition, 58 percent of respondents in a Channel 12 poll answered Netanyahu

Benny Gantz addresses members of his party  in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on March 20, 2019.
JACK GUEZ / AFP

Two new polls published by Israel's Channel 12 and public broadcaster Kan Thursday evening predicted a tight race between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and his rival Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan, but a clear advantage for the right-wing bloc. 

According to the Channel 12 poll, Kahol Lavan would get 30 Knesset seats if the election was held today, whereas Likud would get 26 seats. Even in that scenario, however, the center-left bloc would only get 56 seats compared to 64 for the right-wing bloc.

Kan's poll projected, meanwhile, that Likud would get 31 Knesset seats and Kahol Lavan 30 seats. In that poll, too, the right-wing bloc would lead with the same amount of seats over the center-left.

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Both polls predicted the Labor Party to be the third largest, with 10 seats in Channel 12's poll, and 8 seats in Kan's. The former saw Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu pass the electoral threshold with 5 seats. Orli Levi-Abekasis' Gesher did not pass the electoral threshold in either poll.

Channel 12 also asked respondents who they would prefer to see as prime minister, with 37 percent of respondents answering Netanyahu, 35 percent Gantz and 18 percent neither. However, asked who they believe would form a governing coalition, 58 percent said Netanyahu. 

In addition, the Channel 12 poll asked respondents about a national unity governmennt which would include both Netanyahu and Gantz. Thirty-seven percent voiced their support, 36 percent opposed, and another 37 percent said they do not know. 

The Kan survey was conducted by Kantar among a representative sample of 1,295 Jews and non-Jews, with a margin of error of 2.5 percent.

The Channel 12 survey was conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemah and Mano Geva in cooperation with iPanel. It surveyed a representative sample of 1,202 of Jews and non-Jews, with a margin of error of 2.8 percent.