Poll: Likud Beytenu down to 35 seats

'Post' poll, done prior to AG's decision on Liberman, shows mandates shifting to the Right; Bayit Yehudi up to 16 seats.

Netanyahu and Liberman 390 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu and Liberman 390
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
The joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list would win only 35 seats in the next Knesset – seven fewer than their 42 in the outgoing parliament – according to a Geocartography poll taken for The Jerusalem Post Group’s Hebrew daily the Israel Post in honor of its inaugural weekend edition (Sof Hashavua), which will come out on Friday.
The poll of 500 respondents, representing a statistical sample of the country’s population, was taken on Wednesday, before Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced his decision about Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. It was the same day that Liberman’s attacks on Europe at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya dominated headlines.
When asked whether the country’s diplomatic situation had improved or worsened over the past four years, 54.1 percent of respondents said it had worsened, 15.4% said it had improved, and 23.6% said there had been no change.
The poll, which has a 4.2-percentage point margin of error, found that mandates from the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu would not shift to Center-Left parties, but to Bayit Yehudi, further to the Right, which would rise from three seats in the current Knesset to 16. The Tzipi Livni Party, which formed to attract votes from the Right by highlighting the diplomatic issue, would win only seven seats, according to the poll.
Labor would win 17 seats, Yesh Atid 12, Shas 10, United Torah Judaism and Meretz six each, Hadash and United Arab List four apiece, and Balad three.
Kadima, Am Shalem, Strong Israel and Green Leaf would not pass the 2-percent electoral threshold.
When asked about Binyamin Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister, 40.3% gave him a good grade, 17.7% said he was average, and 34% called his performance bad. Asked whom they wanted to see as defense minister in the next government, 35.3% said Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon, 32.3% said current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, 10.1% said Liberman, and 12.4% said none of the above.
Regarding the country’s security situation, 28.6% said it had worsened over the past four years, 26.2% said it had improved, and 28.7% considered it the same.
Twenty-four percent of the respondents said their personal economic situation had improved over the past four years, 38.7% said it was the same, and 31.5% said it had worsened.
Nevertheless, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz was still the top candidate for his post with 31.3% support, compared to 20.4% for Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and 13% for Liberman; 24% said none of the above.
Asked if they believed Balad MK Haneen Zoabi should be permitted to run for Knesset, 69.4% said no, and only 13.4% said yes.
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A Smith Research poll conducted for The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday found that 31% of Israelis blame Livni for the failure of the Center-Left parties to unite, 16% blame Yacimovich, 8% blame Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, and 15% blame them all equally.
As for which of the three Center-Left parties they prefer to see in a Likud-led coalition, 28% said Labor, 24% said Yesh Atid, and 17% said The Tzipi Livni Party.
An overwhelming plurality (40%) preferred Bayit Yehudi as a coalition partner compared to haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties, while 15% preferred Shas, 5% UTJ, and 38% none of the above.
The Smith poll predicted 39 seats for Likud Beytenu, up two mandates from Smith’s last poll two weeks ago. Labor would win 19, Bayit Yehudi and Shas 10, Lapid’s and Livni’s parties nine each, UTJ six, Meretz, Hadash and Balad four each, and Am Shalem and UAL-Ta’al three apiece.
Kadima and Strong Israel would not pass the threshold.
The poll of 500 respondents had a 4.5-percentage point error margin.