‘Post’ poll shows race is close

The new poll came on a day when the election got even dirtier than it had been before.

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March 22, 2019 00:17
2 minute read.
Elections 2019: Who will Israel choose?

Elections 2019: Who will Israel choose?. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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The Blue and White Party would defeat the Likud, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have a much easier time forming a government than challenger Benny Gantz if elections were held now, according to a new Smith Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post.

The poll found that the Right-Center bloc of Likud, New Right, Union of Right-wing Parties (URP), United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu and Zehut would win 65 seats. The Left-Center bloc of Blue and White, Labor, Meretz, Hadash-Ta’al and United Arab List-Balad would win 55.

Blue and White would win 30 seats, compared to 31 predicted by a Smith Research poll taken at the beginning of March. Likud would win 27, down two from the last poll.

The rest of the field was crowded with Labor at eight seats, Hadash-Ta’al at eight, United Torah Judaism at seven, New Right, Shas and URP at six, Meretz and Kulanu at five and Yisrael Beytenu, United Arab List-Balad and Zehut at four.

Zehut did not cross the 3.25% threshold in the last Smith poll. MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher party did, but got 2.8% in the current poll.

Otzma Yehudit candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is seventh on the URP list, would not make the Knesset according to the poll. Former Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, who is sixth on the New Right list, would become an MK.

The poll of 650 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli adult population was taken Wednesday and had a margin of error of 3.9%.

Two polls broadcast Wednesday night on Channels 12 and 13 gave Blue and White a lead over Likud, after Walla News and KAN polls earlier in the week reported that Likud had taken the lead.

The new poll came on a day when the election got even dirtier than it had been before.


In an interview with KAN Radio, Blue and White candidate Ram Ben-Barak said the public should trust Gantz over Netanyahu due to the prime minister’s infidelity.

“Who should you believe, a man who betrayed his three wives, who had affairs and who won’t see his daughter because his wife doesn’t let him, or a former IDF chief of staff?” Ben-Barak said.

Gantz criticized Ben-Barak for the statement, saying “Rami Ben-Barak is a good, honest man who usually does not stoop, but he went a step too far.”

Ben-Barak later told Channel 12: “What I said was correct but it was wrong to go down to where Netanyahu has led us in the campaign.”

The Likud responded by referring to rumors that Gantz’s telephone that was hacked by Iranian intelligence revealed details of him cheating on his wife, Revital.

“Ben-Barak should ask Gantz to show him what Iran already saw on his phone,” the Likud said.

Journalist Matthew Kalman, who wrote about Netanyahu’s affairs in the 2013 book Psycho-Bibi, said that Ben-Barak’s statement was inaccurate. Netanyahu did cheat on his childhood sweetheart and first wife Micki Weizmann and his current wife Sara Netanyahu, but he found no evidence of him cheating on his second wife, Fleur Cates.

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