Poll: Center-left Bloc Leads, but Likud Holds Steady Despite Netanyahu Immunity Request

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Benny Gantz, leader of Kahol Lavan, speaks to the press, Ramat Gan, January 1, 2020
Benny Gantz, leader of Kahol Lavan, speaks to the press, Ramat Gan, January 1, 2020Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Polls published Thursday night, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested immunity from trial in the three corruption cases against him, show that if the election was held today the center-left bloc would lead over the right-wing bloc by two Knesset seats.

According to a Channel 13 poll, the center-left bloc would receive 58 seats compared to 56 for the right wing bloc – leaving both blocs short of the 61 seats necessary to form a governing coalition. A Channel 12 poll predicts the center-left bloc will receive 57 Knesset seats, compared to 55 for the right-wing bloc.

In both polls, Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan emerges as the largest party, two Knesset seats ahead of Netanyahu's Likud. In addition, the Union of Right Wing Parties, composed of Habayit Hayehudi and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit, doesn't pass the electoral threshold.

The Channel 12 poll gives Kahol Lavan 35 seats to Likud's 33. The next largest party is the Arab Joint List with 13 seats. Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu – which is counted with neither the right-wing bloc nor the center-left bloc – earns eight seats, as do both ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. The poll shows Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's Hayamin Hehadash with six seats, Labor-Gesher with five, and Meretz with four seats.

Kahol Lavan gained 36 seats and Likud 34 in the Channel 13 survey. Like the Channel 12 poll, the Joint List earns 13 seats. Hayamin Hehadash earns eight, while Shas and United Torah Judaism each win seven seats. The poll gives Yisrael Beiteinu six seats, Labor-Gesher five, and shows the Democratic Union with four seats. According to Channel 13, the Union of Right Wing Parties receives 2.9 percent of the vote, falling just short of the electoral threshold.

The Channel 12 poll was conducted by Midgam Institute headed by Meno Geva among 504 interviewees, from a representative sample of the Israeli population over age 18, with a 4.4 percent margin of error. The Channel 13 poll was conducted by Camil Fuchs and consists of an 816-person representative sample with a 3.5 percent margin of error. 

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