'Maariv' poll: Blue and White 36, Likud 32, Yisrael Beytenu 8

The picture of the blocs have the center-left bloc with the Arab Joint List receiving 58 mandates, and the religious-right bloc winning 54.

A Likud party election campaign billboard depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen above a billboard depicting Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, in Petah Tikva, Israel (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
A Likud party election campaign billboard depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen above a billboard depicting Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, in Petah Tikva, Israel
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
The political landscape ahead of the March 2 election remains at a stalemate according to a poll conducted by The Jerusalem Post's sister publication, Maariv, which showed that the center-left bloc with the Arab Joint List would receive 58 mandates while the religious-right bloc would win 54 seats. Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman is still the kingmaker in this scenario, maintaining his eight seats.
Only 10 days before the election and the picture still remains vague, as none of the blocs are able to achieve the desired target – 61 seats – for the formation of a government.
According to data from the Maariv poll, if elections were held today, Blue and White would receive 36 mandates, compared with their 33 seats in the current Knesset, opening a significant gap over the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, which would receive 32 seats in the poll, the same as the previous election.
The Arab Joint List led by Ayman Odeh this will increase to 14 seats, compared to its current 13. Yisrael Beytenu, led by Avigdor Liberman, would retain his eight seats, acting as kingmaker.
Similarly, Shas, led by Arye Deri, would receive eight seats, while UTJ and Yamina would stay stable at seven mandates.
The poll shows that the strength of Blue and White comes directly at the expense of Labor-Gesher-Meretz, which receives only eight seats, compared to 11 seats in the Knesset while Labor-Gesher and Meretz/Democratic Union were separate parties. The Kahanist Otzma Yehudit gets 2.6%, not enough to enter Knesset.
A glance at the picture of the blocs reveals an advantage for the center-left bloc, in conjunction with the Arab Joint List, reaching 58 seats, as opposed to 54 for religious-right bloc.
The survey also examined the degree of support for Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here, Netanyahu leads by a small margin of 43% over Gantz, who receives 39% in the survey.
On the issue of Netanyahu legal troubles, 54% of the public believe that his ongoing legal cases and the opening of criminal proceedings against him impair his ability to be prime minister. 
In a breakdown of supporters of different parties, 90% of Blue and White voters believe the trial will harm Netanyahu ability to function as prime minister, compared to 19% of Likud voters; 65% of Likud voters and 4% of Blue and White voters believe the trial will not impair his duties.
52% of the public believe that Gantz should have accepted Netanyahu's invitation to a television debate. In fact, only Blue and White voters and  Arab Joint List voters believe Gantz should have rejected the invitation.
The survey was conducted by Menachem Lazar, director of Panels Politics, based on a survey of 536 participants, which consists of a representative sample of the Israeli adult population, Jews and Arabs. The survey was conducted on February 19 and the maximum sampling error is 4.4%. The proportion of respondents who remain undecided sits at 14.2%.


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