Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Naftali Bennett, May 14, 2020.

 

According to the Israel Hayom survey conducted this week through Prof. Yitzhak Katz’s Maagar Mochot institute, The Likud is declining compared to its showing in previous polls as well as compared to the results of the last election. The majority for a narrow, rightwing coalition government, with the participation of Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party—which is currently in the opposition—reaches only 62 seats.

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In other words, it is quite possible that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were to declare new elections, as many pundits are expecting, he will likely get the same results he did in the spring: two equal blocs on the right and on the center-left with the Arabs.

Likud’s decline of 3 mandates compared to its current electoral power, and 7 mandates compared to its performance in the polls a month ago, has resulted in a meteoric rise for Yamina. It appears that Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett has made a good impression on many Likud voters with his performance as defense minister, as well as with his leadership on the coronavirus front. Netanyahu may live to regret having pushed the religious right to the opposition after they had shown nothing short of fierce loyalty to his rightwing bloc over three election campaigns.

The survey also examined why, in the opinion of the respondents, there are demonstrations outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem and in other cities. Only 19% of respondents believe that the demonstrations are related to the coronavirus crisis. 26% believe that the demonstrations are in opposition to the prime minister. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) believe the demonstrations are driven by both reasons together.

Likewise, 44% of respondents believe the protesters are made up of individuals affected by the coronavirus crisis as well as political activists who are taking advantage of the crisis. 25% believe the protesters are victims of the crisis, while 21% think that they are political activists. In analysis, the further to the right the respondents are, the stronger their assessment that the rallies are driven by political activists.

52% of respondents believe that the demonstrations are violent ir very violent, compared to 27% who believe that the protest is balanced. Only 12% believe that the protest is quiet or very quiet. Again, an analysis of the responses shows that the respondents who vote for rightwing parties are more likely to define the demonstrations as violent.

44% believe the police are too violent. 30% say the police conduct is proportionate. Only 12% criticize the police as being too soft.

Bennett’s image by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

According to the poll, the Likud receives 33 mandates, followed by Yesh Atid-Talam, led by Yair Lapid, with 17 mandates. The Joint Arab List receives 16 mandates. Yamina, led by Naftali Bennett, rises to 12 mandates. Blue&White, led by Benny Gantz, also gets 12 mandates. Shas receives 9 mandates. United Torah Judaism receives 8 mandates. Yisrael Beiteinu also gets 8 mandates. Meretz barely crosses the threshold percentage with 5 mandates.

The survey was conducted among 505 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population in Israel. The maximum sampling error is +-4.4%.

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