Poll: Likud to Lose Four Knesset Seats if Netanyahu Is Indicted for Bribery

If attorney general decides to charge the prime minister, Likud will win 25 seats while Lapid's Yesh Atid and Gantz's Hosen L’Yisrael rise to 14 each

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset, Jerusalem, January 20, 2019.
Emil Salman

Likud is forecast to lose four Knesset seats if Attorney General Avichai Medelblit announces his intention to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for accepting bribes ahead of the election, according to a poll published last Tuesday.

The poll, conducted for Army Radio, says Likud would win 29 seats if the election is held today – before an indictment is announced – but only 25 if Netanyahu is indicted.

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Gantz’s Hosen L’Yisrael, Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu and Avigdor Liebrman’s Yisrael Beiteinu parties would each pick up one of the lost Likud seats, according to the poll.

According to the poll, if the election is held today, Likud would have the largest party in Knesset, consisting of 29 seats. Yesh Atid and Hosen L'Yisrael would each receive 13 seats. Labor would receive nine seats. Hayamin HeHadash, the new party headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, and United Torah Judaism, the ultra-Orthodox joint ticket, would each take seven seats. The Joint List, Ta'al and Shas would each receive six seats. Kulanu, Yisrael Beiteinu, Gesher and Meretz would each receive five seats and Habayit Hayehudi, the former party of Bennett and Shaked, would receive only four seats.

Should Netanyahu be indicted, Likud would receive 25 seats. Hosen L'Yisrael and Yesh Atid would receive 14 seats. Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu would take six seats each. The rest of the poll results did not change.

The poll was conducted on Monday by Mano Geva’s Midgam Research and Consulting firm, which interviewed 508 people. The maximum sampling error is 4.4 percent.

Netanyahu's lawyers met on Monday with Mendelblit to ask him to delay the publicizing of his decision whether to indict the prime minister until after the election. Mendelblit is expected in the coming days to announce when he plans to release his decision in the three cases involving Netanyahu.

Sources in the Justice Ministry said that Netanyahu's lawyers haven't managed to convince Mendelblit and he is still expected to announce his decision next month.