New Poll: If ex-IDF Chief Runs in Israeli Elections, Center-left Party Would Crash

Without Benny Gantz, Zionist Union would receive 11 parliamentary seats compared to the 24 they hold today. With Gantz, they'd drop to eight, but would climb to 14 with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak as leader

Benny Gantz at a ceremony commemorating the victims of the 2014 Gaza War, October 10, 2018.
Alex Kolomoisky

If elections were held in Israel today, an independent party headed by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz would receive 13 seats in the Knesset, according to a new poll published Thursday by Channel 10 News. According to the poll, in such a scenario Likud would receive 29 seats, Yesh Atid 12, Habayit Hayehudi 10 and Zionist Union eight. 

According to the same survey, if the elections were held  without Gantz's participation, the Likud would receive 31 seats, Yesh Atid 15, Joint List 13, Habayit Hayehudi 12, Zionist Union 11, United Torah Judaism eight and Kulanu and Meretz six each. A new party headed by independent lawmaker Orli Levi-Abekasis would win six seats, as would Yisrael Beiteinu, while Shas would receive five seats.

>> Opinion: The wild card: Gantz is Netanyahu's most valuable electoral asset

The poll also surveyed a scenario in which former Prime Minister Ehud Barak ran as the head of Zionist Union. In such a case, the Likud would receive 31 seats, Yesh Atid 15, Zionist Union 14 and the Habayit Hayehudi 11.

In all three scenarios, 26-28 percent of respondents said they did not know who they would vote for, that they had yet to decide or that they would not vote.

Channel Ten News also asked for the amount of support for granting immunity to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were indicted. Twenty-four percent of respondents supported granting the immunity while 58 percent opposed it.

According to a poll released by the Israel Television News Company on Sunday, a new party headed by Gantz would take 12 parliamentary seats in a general election. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud would take 29 seats, while Yesh Atid would be the second-largest party with 13 and the Zionist Union would fall to 10 seats in the first election since Avi Gabbay became its chairman, the poll said. 

If Gantz decides not to run, Likud would take 32 seats – two more seats than the last poll conducted by the Israel Television News Company. In this scenario, Yesh Atid, led by chairman Yair Lapid, would be the second-largest party 18 seats. Trailing behind were the Zionist Union with 12, the Joint Listwith 12 and Habayit Hayehudi with 10. According to the poll, Kulanu and United Torah Judaism would each receive seven seats, while Meretz and a party headed by Orli Levi-Abekasis would each receive six. Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas would each receive five seats.