Gantz's Party Loses Edge Over Netanyahu's Likud, Election Poll Shows

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File photo: Benny Gantz speaks during election campaign for the April 2019 elections, in Ramat Gan, Israel, March 27, 2019.
File photo: Benny Gantz speaks during election campaign for the April 2019 elections, in Ramat Gan, Israel, March 27, 2019.Credit: Oded Balilty/AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan are both predicted 30 out of 120 Knesset seats in Israel's April 9 election, according to a public opinion poll published Thursday by Channel 13 News.

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With this, Likud seems to be closing the slight gap in favor of Kahol Lavan recent public opinion polls have showed.

The poll also predicts that the far-right pro-cannabis Zehut party, led by Moshe Feiglin, would get seven seats in what marks a new record for the party in election polls.

Yisrael Beiteinu, led by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Gesher, led by ex-Yisrael Beiteinu MK Orli Levi-Abekasis, are both predicted not to pass the electoral threshold.

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Labor is predicted 10 seats, followed by the Union of Right-Wing Parties with seven. Ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism also stands at seven seats, as does Arab-majority list Hadash-Ta'al. Left-wing Meretz and right-wing Hayamin Hehadash, led by ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, are both predicted five seats, and United Arab List-Balad, Kulanu and Shas four.

The poll also looked at Israelis' attitude regarding Netanyahu and some of his recent policy moves. 51 percent of respondents said Netanyahu is the best fit for prime minister, whereas only 36 percent said Gantz is most suitable for the position. 13 percent said they don't know which politician would serve best as Israel's next prime minister.

However, 61 percent of respondents said they disagree with Netanyahu's policy on the Gaza Strip. 51 percent said they think the U.S. recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights improves Israel's standing in the international community, while 34 percent said it doesn't.

801 adult Israelis, of whom 601 Jews and 200 non-Jews, were asked for their views in the poll, which was conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs and has a 3.6% margin of error.

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