Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party jumps to 31 Knesset seats, New Hope, led by Gideon Sa'ar, weakens to 16, and Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai's The Israelis party declines to just 5, uncomfortably close to the 4-seat minimum for gaining any Knesset representation, in a poll published by Channel 13 News on Friday. Yesh Atid-Telem, headed by Yair Lapid, strengthens to 16 projected seats, while Yamina, headed by Naftali Bennett is on 13. The previous poll, published by Channel 12 News on January 5, showed Likud on 27 seats.
The seats gained by Likud mean that, if the results of this poll are borne out in the election, the anti-Netanyahu center-right block (that is, all the parties except Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Meretz and the Joint Arab List) will be down to just 60 seats.
The poll also examined whom voters think is most suitable to be prime minister, and found that while Netanyahu leads with a 42% rating, Sa'ar Is not very far behind with 36%, a rare achievement in the political climate of recent years for any candidate other than Netanyahu.
The parties that remain below the minimum vote threshold for winning any Knesset seats can be expected to try to form mergers with one another or with the stronger parties in order to survive this election campaign.
The average result of the five most recent polls is as follows (the previous five-poll average is in parentheses):
Likud - 29 Knesset seats (28)
New Hope - 17 (17)
Yesh Atid-Telem - 14 (13)
Yamina - 13 (13)
Joint Arab List - 10 (11)
Shas - 8 (8)
United Torah Judaism - 7 (8)
The Israelis - 7 (8)
Yisrael Beitenu - 6 (6)
Meretz - 5 (6)
Blue & White - 4 (4)
The total number of seats may not be 120 (the actual number of seats in the Knesset) because of rounding in the averaging process.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 10, 2021
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