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GIL HOFFMAN \
Poll: Bayit Yehudi gains at Likud's expense
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
(photo credit:BAZ RATNER,REUTERS)
Bayit Yehudi, the most right-wing party in the Knesset, would rise from 12 seats to 18 if elections would be held now, according to a Panels poll broadcast Thursday on the Knesset Channel.
The poll was taken Wednesday, the day after the funerals of murdered teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Sha'er, and Eyal Yifrah, who were part of the religious Zionist community that tends to vote for Bayit Yehudi and Likud Beytenu. It found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud Beytenu would fall from its current 31 seats to 28.
Immediate reactions to the poll on social media diagnosed the Israeli population as moving rightward. But the Center-Left bloc actually gained a seat from 59 to 60, while the Center-Right bloc fell from 61 into a tie with the Center-Left.
Labor, which has been gaining support since the election of Isaac Herzog as party chairman, would rise from 15 to 21 making Herzog the unquestioned leader of the Center-Left camp. Yesh Atid would fall from 19 seats to 13 and Meretz would double its mandates from six to 12. Hatnua would fall from six seats to three, and Kadima would win zero.
Shas would win seven seats, a huge fall from is current 11. United Torah Judaism would maintain its seven mandates. Hadash and the United Arab list would keep their four seats each and Balad its three.
But the poll purposely did not take into account the rise in the electoral threshold from 2 to 3.25 percent that will take effect with the next election. Due to the change, the smallest faction in the next Knesset will have four seats, up from the current two.
It also did not take into account that former social welfare minister Moshe Kachlon is expected to form a new party that polls show will do very well and that Likud and Yisrael Beytenu are expected to run separately.
When asked what steps the IDF should be taking against Hamas, 62% were in favor of air strikes, 23% wanted a ground invasion, and six percent called for complete restraint.
Asked to grade the prime minister's handling of the week's events, 44% of respondents rated Netanyahu's performance favorably and 51% unfavorably. The IDF and Shin-Bet Security agencies both fared well, with 76% and 70% grading their performance favorable.
The police, which did not take action when called by Sha'er and his father, received dismal ratings. Only 13% rated its performance favorably and 84% unfavorably.
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