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JNS poll: Most Israelis think early elections would hurt deterrence

Some 60% are unhappy with the government's handling of the war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu votes in the Israeli general election as his wife, Sara look on, Nov. 1, 2022. Photo by Olivier FitoussiFlash90.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu votes in the Israeli general election as his wife, Sara look on, Nov. 1, 2022. Photo by Olivier FitoussiFlash90.

While 60% of Israelis are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the conflicts on the country’s southern and northern borders, the majority believes that early elections would hurt the war effort, according to a poll conducted for JNS.

The Direct Polls Institute, which correctly predicted the results of Israel’s most recent election in November 2022, surveyed a representative sample of 685 Israeli adults on June 27, 2024. (The margin of error is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%, according to Direct Polls.)

Fifty-four percent of the respondents said a national vote before the end of the wars with Hamas and Hezbollah would “hurt” (9%) or be “very harmful” (45%) to Israel’s deterrence in the face of ongoing threats.

However, only just under two-fifths of those surveyed assessed the performance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition during the war as “good” (23%) or “very good” (15%), Direct Polls found.

Voters of Netanyahu’s coalition of right-wing parties were among those most likely to support its accomplishments and oppose early elections.

Asked when the next vote should be held, a quarter of the premier’s supporters said elections should be scheduled after the war ends.

Among the broader public, the opinion was split, with 42% saying the Jewish state should go to the ballot box “immediately” and 38% stating that elections should be held near their scheduled date, in October 2026.

A Direct Polls survey released by Channel 14 last month showed that Netanyahu’s Likud Party gained a slight tailwind following National Unity Party leader Benny Gantz’s decision to quit the wartime coalition.

Likud and its constellation parties would win 58 Knesset seats against a center-left coalition (52) and Arab parties (10), according to the poll.

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