Israel’s Channel 2’s Meet the Press with Rina Matzliah on Saturday night presented the results of a survey showing that 42% of Israelis favor early elections to the Knesset and 38% oppose it.
To the question who is best suited to replace Prime Minister Netanyahu, a whopping 61% said none of the above, and most of the remaining respondents, 13%, favored former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who is yet to form a party or throw his hat in the ring – meaning that three-quarters of the voters don’t support an actual candidate for prime minister in place of Netanyahu.
The leading actual candidate was Yair Lapid with 10%, followed by Tzipi Livni with 7%. Ehud Barak, who is also not part of any official effort to run, took 6%. Labor Chairman Avi Gabai hit a new low in his popularity with a measly 3%.
The survey was conducted by Mina Tzemach and Mano Geva of the Sample research institute in conjunction with iPanelt, among a representative sample of 505 adult Israelis, with a 4.4+- margin of error.
Survey participants were asked: Do you support a legislative initiatives to prevent the investigation of a sitting prime minister, or the implementation of the Knesset immunity clause, so as to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from being prosecuted? Only a quarter of respondents supported these measures and 60% oppose them.
42% support early Knesset elections, 38% oppose. In early March, at the height of a coalition crisis over the Haredi draft, a survey conducted by the same outfit asked the same question and the results were 30% in favor of early elections and 54% against.
The survey also asked the respondents’ view of Netanyahu’s virtual boycott of the Israeli media. One third thought Netanyahu was behaving correctly by avoiding regular meetings with the Israeli media, and 49% thought he was wrong.