Support for Netanyahu's Likud Party in Decline, Election Poll Shows

The Channel 13 News poll predicts pro-Netanyahu bloc to win 45 seats, and the anti-Netanyahu bloc to win 60 seats, one short of a Knesset majority. 'People don’t want to go back to an unstable government,' the premier says in a rare interview

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks to the media during a visit to the Fitness gym in Petah Tikva.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks to the media during a visit to the Fitness gym in Petah Tikva. Credit: Tal Shahar / AP
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Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is losing some support ahead of Israel’s March 23 election, a public opinion poll released Thursday by Channel 13 News, while the bloc of parties opposing him gains some ground.

“Wait for the election and see we’ll form a right-wing government,” Netanyahu said in a rare interview with Channel 13 News Thursday. 

“People don’t want to go back to an unstable government.”

Netanyahu’s party would remain the Knesset’s biggest, according to the poll, with 27 out of 120 Knesset seats, down one seat from Channel 13’s poll from last week, and three fewer than a poll conducted in early February. 

The pro-Netanyahu bloc of parties would get 45 seats after the election, according to the poll, while the anti-Netanyahu bloc have 60 together. Naftali Bennett’s Yamina and the United Arab List, who wouldn’t say whether they intend to back Netanyahu, hold the remaining 15 Knesset seats, according to the poll.

During the interview, Netanyahu vowed that he would not form government with far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Otzma Yehudit party. 

The poll shows Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would gain one seat compared to last week’s poll, going from 17 to 18 seats, keeping its position in the polls as the second-biggest party. Most other parties retain the same number of seats projected in Channel 13’s previous poll.

The poll included 787 respondents, 603 of them Jewish and 184 Arab. It has a 3.6-percent margin of error.

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