Gap between Gantz and Netanyahu narrows as polls show right-wing coalition

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party gaining 28 and 29 seats in new polls, a path to coalition appears in new polls.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
March 10, 2019 11:17
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Gantz (R)

Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Gantz (R). (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party narrowed the gap with Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party in new polls released Sunday, as two samplings showed a small right-wing coalition that could be established after April's elections.

The Likud party came second behind Blue and White in a poll conducted by Yediot Aharonot, as Netanyahu’s list would gain 29 seats in Knesset. Gantz’s party earned 33 seats, the poll found, down from 35 seats in prior editions.

The right-wing bloc would be able to establish a limited coalition, totaling 61 seats. United Torah Judaism earned seven seats, Shas six, the Union of Right-Wing Parties six, the New Right garnered five, while Yisrael Beytenu and Kulanu would get four seats.

On the Left, the Labor party rose to 10 seats and Meretz would send five members to Knesset. Among the Arab parties, the Hadash-Ta’al list earned seven seats while UAL-Balad earned four.

Neither Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut list nor Orly Levy-Abecassis's Gesher Party passed the electoral threshold in the poll.

Netanyahu has been falling in the polls since Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced in late February his intention to indict the premier on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, pending a hearing. The strength of a potential coalition depends on whether parties will continue to sit with Netanyahu after the hearing, and on which right-wing parties, a topic on which his allies have differed.

The poll matches the findings of others in recent days, which predicted a narrow win for the right-wing bloc.

Meanwhile, in a poll conducted by Haaretz, the Blue and White Party fell to 31 seats, down from an average of 36. Likud maintained second place, holding 28 seats, while Labor matched the 10-seat prediction.

On the Right, URP earned eight seats, while the New Right and UTJ had seven. Shas was found to get five seats while Kulanu earned four seats.

Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut, a “tie breaker,” according to Haaretz, would earn four seats, the first time his party passed the electoral threshold in its polling.

On the Left, Meretz was found to earn four seats, while among Arab parties, Hadash-Ta’al garnered eight and UAL-Balad earned four seats.

In the poll, Yisrael Beytenu and Gesher did not pass the electoral threshold.

The Haaretz poll was created from a representative sample of 800 respondents with a margin of error of 3.5%. The Yediot findings were conducted based off a representative sample of 510 respondents with an error margin of 4.4%.

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