PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be able to form a governing coalition if elections were held today, a Channel 2 poll released on Friday suggested.
According to the poll, carried out by Mina Tzemach and Manu Geva, Yair Lapid would be the big winner if elections were held today, with his Yesh Atid party receiving 26 mandates to 22 for Netanyahu's Likud.
What differed in this poll from previous polls in which Netanyahu has trailed an opponent, is that Lapid seems to have taken mandates from the Right, rather than the Left, leaving an opposing bloc large enough to thwart Netanyahu from forming a coalition.
According to Channel 2, the most likely outcome would be a Yesh Atid-Likud unity government in which Lapid and Netanyahu would rotate as prime minister.
The Joint List would receive 13 mandates if elections were held today, the poll found, and both the Zionist Union and Bayit Yehudi would receive 11 mandates.
Seven mandates each would go to Yisrael Beytenu, Kulanu and United Torah Judaism. Shas and Meretz would each receive six mandates.
If former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon were to form a party it would struggle to pass the threshold to get into the Knesset, receiving only four mandates in the poll.
The Zionist Union, Meretz, Yesh Atid, Ya'alon's party and the Joint List would be unlikely to sit in a government together, but their 60 combined mandates, refusing to recommend Netanyahu as the one forming the coalition, would force him to accept the rotation agreement with Lapid, Channel 2 assessed.
The poll came as Netanyahu is facing a number of criminal probes, one of which he was questioned in this past week that involves him allegedly receiving improper gifts from businessmen. Unless early elections are called, the next election is not scheduled to take place until 2019, but the poll could be perceived by some as pointing to Netanyahu's current vulnerability in the face of the criminal probes.
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