On Sunday this week, we reported that according to a Direct Polls survey, had new national elections been done now, both PM Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope would suffer humiliating losses, but while Yamina won’t even make it past the 3.25% vote threshold, New Hop would at least grab four seats to save its life (On Eve of Budget Vote, Survey Shows Bennett Won’t Pass Threshold Next Election). On Monday, a Channel 13 poll showed the reverse: it’s New Hope that would fail to garner enough votes to cross the threshold, while Bennett’s Yamina would keep its current 6 seats (it won 7, but its rogue MK Amichai Chikli might as well be counted as a Likudnik).
First, as far as blocs go, the Lapid-Bennett coalition government is down to 56 seats from an iffy 61, and the Likud-Haredi-Religious Zionism bloc also has 56 seats. So the most obvious winner would be the Joint Arab List with its 8 seats. Neither side could cobble a coalition without them, unless… Well, you must have seen the news about the new “Alliance of the Weakened” between the Ra’am Islamists and the United Torah Judaism Haredim. Maybe come the new elections, the Haredim would start thinking about themselves and their voters and abandon their six-year romance with Bibi Netanyahu. Stranger things have happened.
Amazingly, the very coalition parties that lead the reforms and capture the headlines today suffer the worst losses in the next elections: Prime Minister Bennett’s party is nicked one seat; Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beiteinu drops from 7 to 4 seats, and, as we said, Gideon Sa’ar’s party doesn’t make it into the 25th Knesset.
But the biggest winner by far is Merav Michaeli’s Labor party, which only a short time ago was relegated to the trash heap of history and now scores in the double digits. Where do Labor’s new (or returning) votes come from? They were probably parked for several years in Blue&White, Meretz, and even Shas.
Incidentally, a whopping 21% of respondents didn’t know which party they would vote for if the elections were held today, and 2.1% said they would vote for a party that’s not in the Knesset at this time.
The survey also asked whether the Bennett-Lapid government should continue, or was it time to go to the polls again. A decisive 51% supported continuing this government’s tenure, compared with 40% who opposed it and 9% who did not know.
Another interesting fact: 39% of the Jewish respondents wanted new elections today, compared with 46% of Arab respondents who also wanted a mulligan.
One more tidbit: 20% supported adding the Haredi parties to the government, compared to 63% who said no way, keep the Haredim in the opposition.
And who is better suited to serve as prime minister, Naftali Bennett or Yair Lapid? 23% supported Bennett, 22% Lapid, and 45% wanted neither. However, 52% of non-Jewish respondents wanted Lapid.
The survey was conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs. The sampling error is 3.8%.