Jerusalem Post poll finds 6-seat Blue and White lead

Surveys find public opposes immunity for Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting, December 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting, December 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Blue and White would defeat Likud, 36 seats to 30, if the March 2 election were held now, according to a Panels Research poll taken on Wednesday for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister newspaper Ma'ariv.
The poll was taken the same day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was seeking immunity from prosecution and the issue dominated the news all day.
The six-seat lead was two more than the last poll by the same pollster that predicted 38 mandates for Blue and White and 34 for Likud on December 20.
The new poll predicted 13 seats for the Joint List, eight each for Shas and Yisrael Beytenu, seven each for United Torah Judaism and the National Union-Bayit Yehudi, six for the New Right and five for Labor-Gesher. Meretz did not cross the threshold.
Asked who is most fit to be prime minister, 41% said Netanyahu, 40% said Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and 19% said they did not know.
The poll found that 47% of the public is against granting parliamentary immunity to Netanyahu, 35% support it and 18% had no opinion. But among Likud voters, 77% support immunity and only six percent are against. Among Labor-Gesher reporters, zero backed immunity.
The poll of 520 respondents had a 4.4% margin of error. Other polls that were broadcast on Thursday night found similar results on the immunity issue but a narrower gap between Blue and White and Likud.  Polls on Channels 12 and 13 and Kan found that Blue and White enjoys a two-seat lead over Likud.
A Kan news poll found that 52% oppose immunity for Netanyahu and 28% are in favor. A Channel 13 poll found that 50% are against and 27% in favor. The remainder of respondents declined to answer or said they did not know.
But among voters of Likud and allies in its right-wing and religious bloc, 61% were in favor, 12% against and 27% did not know, according to the Channel 13 poll.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Knesset Arrangements Committee head Avi Nissenkorn and Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon will meet on Sunday to discuss the immunity issue. Nissenkorn wants his committee to be allowed to create the Knesset House Committee that is normally only formed after a government is sworn in to vote on immunity for Netanyahu.
A majority of the Knesset opposes immunity, because Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman came out against it. Edelstein is expected to block the committee from being formed if Yinon rules that it is legally permissible.
Blue and White is threatening to overthrow Edelstein if he takes that step. If Yinon rules that the committee cannot be formed, Blue and White will respect the decision, but Gantz's party wants the issue to stay in the news in order to harm Netanyahu politically.
Netanyahu received a boost on Thursday when MK Gideon Sa'ar, who ran against him for the Likud leadership last week, told a thank you raly of his supporters in Or Yehuda: "will all work hard for the Likud's success in the upcoming elections that will be very difficult."
Sa'ar reminded his supporters that former Likud leader Menachem Begin lost many elections before becoming prime minister.
"Anyone who wants to succeed must be prepared to take the risk to fail," he said.