Poll: Bennett, Sa’ar top potential successors to Netanyahu

Weekly anti-corruption protest was the largest since they began eight months ago.

August 13, 2017 05:30
1 minute read.
Anti-corruption demonstration near the Petah Tikva home of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

Anti-corruption demonstration near the Petah Tikva home of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit. . (photo credit: ALON HACHMON)

Some 2,000 people participated in an anti-corruption demonstration near the Petah Tikva home of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on Saturday night.

This was the largest demonstration since the weekly protests began eight months ago.

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Anti-corruption protest leader Eldad Yaniv credited Netanyahu’s high profile speech to Likud members on Wednesday for raising awareness of his demonstration.

“The more Israelis feel attacked, the more they come to demonstrations,” Yaniv said.

In response, coalition chairman David Bitan also held a counter-protest of some 400 people.

Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi leader  and Education Minister Naftali Bennett and former minister Gideon Sa’ar are the top choices of the Right and the general public to succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a poll taken for The Jerusalem Post’s sister newspaper Maariv.

The Panels Research poll reported that among the general public, 38% found Sa’ar fit to be prime minister, followed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon 32%, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon 30%, and Bennett with 26%.

Among the Right, 42% said Bennett was fit to be prime minister. Sa’ar was deemed fit by 41%, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan by 32%, Kahlon and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked by 29%.

The poll found that Sa’ar could win one more Knesset seat as leader of Likud than Netanyahu, taking away five seats from Yesh Atid and two from Kulanu, strengthening the Right.

With Likud led by Netanyahu, the party would win 25 seats, Yesh Atid 21, Zionist Union 16, Bayit Yehudi 12, Joint List 11, Kulanu nine, United Torah Judaism eight, Yisrael Beytenu seven, Meretz six and Shas five.

The poll of 562 respondents representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population has a margin of error of 4.3%.

This was the second poll which found the Likud would be stronger with Sa’ar at its helm rather than Netanyahu. A Statnet poll broadcast last Sunday night on Channel 10 found that Netanyahu would win 27 seats while Sa’ar would take 31.

When the Maariv poll asked respondents whether they believed Netanyahu’s claim that his investigations will “amount to nothing because there isn’t anything,” 64% of Likud voters said yes, among the general public, however, only 31% agreed.

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