Israel Elections: Israelis prefer Ben-Gvir to Abbas in next gov't - poll

Netanyahu bloc wins 60 seats, unable to form government • Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid rises to 24, Yamina out of next Knesset

 MK ITAMAR BEN-GVIR addresses the Knesset plenum as Ra’am (United Arab List) Party leader Mansour Abbas presides during a session in November. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
MK ITAMAR BEN-GVIR addresses the Knesset plenum as Ra’am (United Arab List) Party leader Mansour Abbas presides during a session in November.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Israelis would rather see radical right-wing MK Itamar Ben-Gvir take part in the next government than Ra’am chief MK Mansour Abbas.

A Monday election poll by Channel 13 found 40% of Israelis prefer a government that includes the Otzma Yehudit head, who is in the midst of merger negotiations with MK Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionists faction, compared to a government with Abbas.

Only one in five Israelis prefer a government with the Ra’am chairman and close to a third of all respondents (30%) said both options are undesirable.

Election poll: No government on the horizon

In terms of Knesset seats, neither bloc appears capable of forming a government according to Channel 13's poll, conducted for its national conference held on Monday.

Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud remains at the top with 35 mandates, the poll found. Rounding up Netanyahu's bloc are Ben Gvir and Smotrich with 11, Arye Deri's Shas with eight and United Torah Judaism with six mandates, bringing the block to a total of 60, unable to form a government but enough to block a government forming on the other side.

 Head of opposition Benjamin Netanyahu at the welcoming ceremony for US President Joe Biden at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on July 13, 2022, for his first official visit to Israel since becoming US president. (credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90) Head of opposition Benjamin Netanyahu at the welcoming ceremony for US President Joe Biden at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on July 13, 2022, for his first official visit to Israel since becoming US president. (credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)

Yesh Atid, headed by Prime Minister Yair Lapid, will hold 24 Knesset seats if the election was held today, according to the poll. The union between Blue and White and New Hope brings 13 seats, while Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu takes five.

Left-wing parties Labor and Meretz earn four seats each, as Arab factions, the Joint List and Ra’am win six and four seats, respectively.

According to the poll, Israel’s outgoing coalition would win only 54 seats in the next Knesset. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s Yamina, also part of the coalition, does not cross the electoral threshold.

The poll also asked respondents whether Netanyahu’s trials will have an effect on their vote in November. The vast majority of Israelis (71%) answered their vote is not influenced by the trials, while 17% said the opposite.