Netanyahu's Likud Party Continues to Slide in New Poll for Knesset Election

Ruling party would receive 30 seats, down five from a similar poll held three months ago; Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would become second-largest party

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at a Likud meeting in the Knesset, April 2018.
Emil salman

A poll by Israel Television News released Tuesday shows that if new Knesset elections were held today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would receive 30 seats – the same as it has in the current parliament.

However, the number of predicted seats continues a downward trend for the ruling party in recent months: A poll conducted in April predicted that Likud would get 35 seats, while a poll the following month predicted 32 seats.

The new poll also showed Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would receive 19 seats, making it the second largest party in the Knesset, followed by Zionist Union with 15 seats and the (predominantly Arab) Joint List with 12.

Zionist Union is currently the largest opposition party in the Knesset with 24 lawmakers.

Naftali Bennett’s right-wing, religious Zionist Habayit Hayehudi is predicted to get eight seats (the same as it currently has), while United Torah Judaism, Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu would all take seven seats each. Meretz, Shas and a new party led by Orli Levi-Abekasis would each get five seats.

In Israel, a party has to gain a minimum of 3.25 percent of all votes (about four seats) to pass the electoral threshold.

Participants were also asked their position on the current protest by the LGBT community, sparked by the exclusion of gay men from the recently amended surrogacy law. Netanyahu angered many members of the community after flip-flopping on his support for the law, under pressure from the ultra-Orthodox parties in his governing coalition.

Some 56 percent of those polled said they supported the protest, while 33 percent said they opposed it. Of Likud voters, 51 percent supported the protest, while 58 percent of Habayit Hayehudi voters also supported it. Some 42 percent of Likud voters opposed it, while 40 percent of Habayit Hayehudi voters were against it.