(March 1, 2019 / Israel Hayom) The center-left Blue and White Party might be widening its lead over the Likud, but still has no chance of forming the next government, suggests a new poll by Israel Hayom and i24NEWS.
The poll predicted 38 seats for Blue and White under the leadership of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, compared to 29 seats for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
The Union of Right-Wing Parties (comprising Habayit Hayehudi-National Union and the far-right Otzma Yehudit) was projected to win nine seats, making it the third-largest party, and one more than the eight seats projected for the New Right under Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
This means that despite his current lead in the polls, Gantz would still be unable to assemble a governing coalition because parties on the right have more total seats than parties on the left. For example, if Gantz were to join forces with Labor, Meretz and even Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu Party, which is hovering just at the minimum electoral threshold with four projected seats, after the election, he would still only have 55 total seats, whereas a right-wing government would have 62 seats with Kahlon.
According to the poll, Labor and the Arab list Ta’al-Hadash would win seven seats each. Shas, United Torah Judaism and Meretz were predicted to win six seats each.
The poll predicted that Yisrael Beytenu and Knesset member Orly Levy-Abekasis’s Gesher Party would fail to pass the minimum threshold.
When asked who they thought was most qualified to serve as prime minister, 43 percent of respondents picked Netanyahu, compared to 36 percent who picked Gantz and 21 percent who picked a different candidate or said they did not know.
The poll also asked respondents whether they thought that a unity government under both Likud and the Blue and White Party should be established after the election, 28 percent responded in favor of a unity government, 40 percent opposed the idea, and 32 percent said they did not know.
The poll also asked Gantz supporters whom they supported in the last Knesset election, and only 10 percent said they had voted for Likud. More than half (58 percent) said they voted for Labor, 17 percent voted for Kulanu, and 13 percent voted for the Joint Arab List.