Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting, December 23rd, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
If elections were held today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud part would return to power, according to a new poll released today.
The poll, conducted by Walla! News and Panels Research, shows that Likud would win 32 seats if former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz does not form his own rival party, and 31 if Gantz does do so.
The popular former defense minister's entree into politics
will have an outsize effect on the makeup of Israel's next government, according to the survey. If Gantz joins an existing party, or remains on the sidelines, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid will emerge as the second largest party with 12 seats.
Both the Zionist Union and the Arab-Israeli Joint List will win 11 of the Knesset's 120 seats. This would represent a new electoral low for the Labor party, one of the partners in the Zionist Union.
Perhaps most surprising is that, according to the survey, the left-wing Meretz would earn eight seats, more than the six for current Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu.
If Gantz does form a new political party, as many expect and has Gantz himself has hinted, it would earn 14 seats. This would make Gantz's party the second largest in the Knesset.
The new results represent, however, a drop in possible support for Gantz. In a poll taken for Walla! News on November 21, the prospective party was predicted to win 19 seats.Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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