Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, August 4, 2020.

A poll conducted this week for Maariv by Panels Politics shows that if the election had taken place today, the Likud would have dropped to 27 Knesset seats (compared to 36 the party won in the March election).

According to the same poll, Yair lapid’s Yesh Atid would have won 20 seats to become the second largest faction in the Knesset. Naftali Bennett’s Yamina continues its amazing upward swing to stand in third place with 18 seats. The Joint Arab List came in fourth with 15 seats, followed by Benny Gantz’s Blue&White which dropped to single digits with only 9 seats.

Maariv’s Panels Politics poll, Aug. 13, 2020 / Based on Data from Maariv
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Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu is getting a little stronger according to the new survey, and also wins 9 seats (up from 7 in March). Shas receives 8 seats, United Torah Judaism 7, and Meretz 7.

The Panels Politics Institute survey was conducted among 1,003 respondents.

An earlier survey conducted for Maariv last Friday, by the Maagar Mohot Institute, showed that the Likud was losing ground, but not this drastically. According to Friday’s poll, the Likud received 32 seats (still 4 down from March).

Blue&White was sinking in Friday’s poll, but more moderately – down to 11 seats, 2 more than in the new poll.

On the other hand, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid was on the upswing Friday, scoring 18 seats, 2 fewer than the current poll.

And Yamina, led by Naftali Bennett, is also trending up strongly, with 12 seats last Friday and 18 today – compared to its actual, measly 6 Knesset seats.

Shas retains its 9 seats (8 last Friday), while Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu goes up from 8 seats last week to 9 today – with only 7 seats last March.

These dramatic results most likely stem from the drift in the public’s view of Benjamin Netanyahu, when potential Likud voters are divided: the secular ones switch to Yesh Atid, the traditional ones to Yamina.

It is advisable not to attribute long-term significance to the results of today’s poll, mainly because of the phenomenon of “vote parking” by undecided voters. Potential Netanyahu voters who are disappointed with his appearances and actions this week “park” their votes in the parties closest to him on the right and left, and it is safe to assume that many of them will return home to the Likud once real elections are held.

In this context, it is worth noting that those same hesitant voters do not see Benny Gantz’s Blue&White as a viable alternative to Netanyahu and prefer Lapid or Bennett.

It is also worth noting that since the Israeli media returned to holding opinion polls on the expeected upcoming elections, many parties have completely disappeared from the voter’s awareness: Labor, Gesher, Derech Eretz and Otzma Yehudit have not even once managed to push past the threshold percentage in the July and August polls.

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