Poll: 65 Percent Dissatisfied With Netanyahu's COVID Response, Bennett Nips at Likud's Heels

According to Channel 12 News survey, nearly half of Israelis back an early election, in which Netanyahu's party would remain the biggest in the Knesset, with right-wing opposition party only slightly behind

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the signing of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the signing of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020.Credit: Noam Galai
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Haaretz

Sixty-five percent of Israelis think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responding poorly to the coronavirus crisis, a Channel 12 News poll released on Tuesday shows. Thirty-one percent of respondents say they support Netanyahu's response so far.

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The poll also asked Israelis how they would vote if elections were held now. Netanyahu's Likud party, the survey says, would get 26 out of 120 Knesset seats, down three from Channel 12's previous poll two weeks ago and 10 from Likud's current Knesset representation of 36 seats.

The next largest party would be the Yamina alliance of far-right parties with 23 seats; the previous poll gave 21. Yamina only has five seats in the current Knesset, in which they sit in the opposition.

Netanyahu's party took to Twitter to respond, claiming "the left-wing media inflates [Yamina's Naftali] Bennett to take down Prime Minister Netanyahu and Likud." Alongside a screenshot of a 2014 election poll giving Habayit Hayehudi – headed by Bennett at the time – one seat less than Likud, the tweet said: "It won't work this time either."

The slate’s showing would give the right wing-ultra-Orthodox bloc 65 seats – a clear majority. The center-left bloc is only projected to win 55 seats, and that is only if it were it to join with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, which has refused to join either bloc in the past year’s elections.

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Kahol Lavan, currently the second-largest party, would garner just seven seats, and Yesh Atid, which split from Kahol Lavan following the latter’s decision to join a Netanyahu government, would win 16. Left-wing party Meretz would win four seats. The poll asked about the possibility of Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai forming a new political party with him at the helm, and the poll showed that if he did so, it would win six Knesset seats.

When asked whether the government should dissolve itself and go for a fourth round of elections, 49 percent of respondents said that they support early elections. Thirty percent said that the current Knesset should continue to govern, and 21 percent said that they didn’t know.

The telephone and online poll was conducted by Manu Geva, and surveyed 503 respondents. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.  

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