Blue and White leads on Likud by four seats, new poll finds

The survey suggests that a fourth election may be in the cards, as overall voting patterns have shifted very little.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid
With just five days to go until the deadline for registering candidate lists for the upcoming general election in March, latest polling shows little change in public allegiance to the parties.
A poll carried out by Israel Hayom and Maagar Mochot research institute has found that if the election were to take place today, Blue and White would win 34 seats against Likud's 30, while the Arab Joint List would take another 15. No block would therefore obtain a 61-MKs majority.
United Torah Judaism would be the next largest party, securing 8 seats, while Shas and Israel Beytenu would each hold 7.
At the lower end of the scale, Bayit Yehudi and Otzma Yehudit together would take 5 seats, while the New Right would achieve 4.
Labor-Gesher were also predicted to win 5 seats, but Labor Minister Amir Peretz's proposal to join forces with Gesher, Blue and White and Meretz would see the new group lose seats as a whole, gaining 39 seats in total. Meanwhile, a hypothetical coalition between Meretz and Labor-Gesher was predicted to reach 11 seats.
The survey also quizzed participants on the attractiveness of a wholly unified right in which the New Right and Israel Beytenu join forces with the orthodox parties. In that scenario, Likud's support would drop, giving the party 29 seats, while the new union would secure 11. This would also mark a reduction in seats, down from the 16 the parties can command separately.
The overall figures suggest a fourth general election could be on the way, as the pollsters predict a right wing Haredi bloc holding 54 seats and the centre-left bloc commanding 44, while the joint list with 15 and Israel Beytenu on 7 being outside either group.
On the question of who the public would like to see as prime minister, Netenyahu has the advantage, with 54% favoring him against the 46% who think Gantz would do a better job.
On the subject of immunity, however, the public were not with Netanyahu: 65% of those polled were against his request for immunity, against 35% who supported his request.
However, opinions on which Knesset should rule on the request for immunity were more evenly split. 38% said the current Knesset should debate the request for immunity, while 37% said the question should be held over for the next Knesset to decide. 25% were unsure.