(January 31, 2019 / Israel Hayom) The first campaign speech by former Israel Defense Forces’ chief and Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz has given Gantz an enormous boost, polls published on Wednesday show.
According to a polls by Hadashot 12 News, Israel Resilience, which on Tuesday announced it would be running on a single ticket with former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem Party, would win 21 seats if the election were held now, making it the second-largest party after Likud, which hung on to the 30 seats previous polls had projected for it.
Channel 12 polled a representative sample of Israelis age 18 and over and had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
With Likud holding steady, most of the extra seats projected for Gantz came at the expense of the Yesh Atid Party, which was projected to win 11 to 12 seats.
The poll also predicted that the Labor Party would drop to only six seats if the election were held now, even fewer than the seven seats projected for Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s New Right Party.
According to the poll, the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox Party Shas and Kulanu, under Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, would each win five seats. The Arab parties—Hadash, Balad and Ta’al—would win six seats apiece following the breakup of the Joint Arab List, the poll showed.
The parties that made the worst showing in the Channel 12 poll were Meretz, Gesher and Yisrael Beytenu, with four seats each, which barely puts them over the minimum electoral threshold.
The poll also presented respondents with a scenario in which Israel Resilience and Yesh Atid united and ran together. The results indicated that if Gantz were the leader of a joint ticket, the parties would scoop up 35 seats, overtaking Likud. If Lapid were to hold the No. 1 spot on a joint Yesh Atid-Israel Resilience list, the parties would win 30 seats, with Likud gaining one seat to reach 31.
When asked which candidate they believed was most qualified to be prime minister, 36 percent of respondents picked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gantz was nipping at his heels with 35 percent, compared to 28 percent of respondents in a previous poll who said they thought Gantz was most qualified to lead the government.
Channel 13 also ran a poll showing similar results: 30 seats for Likud and 24 for Gantz’s Israel Resilience. According to the Channel 13 poll, Yesh Atid would drop to nine seats. Labor would win six seats, the same result predicted by Channel 12.
A third poll, conducted by Hadashot Kan 11, predicted 31 seats for Likud and 23 for Israel Resilience. The Kan 11 poll also predicted that Yesh Atid would win nine seats. Labor made a slightly better showing in this poll, with eight seats predicted for it if the election were held now.