Gantz-Ya'alon on PM's tail, polls show

Gantz party rises to 19 seats after deal with Ya’alon

Benny Gantz (R) and Moshe Ya'alon (L) at a event in Tel Aviv, January 29th, 2019 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Benny Gantz (R) and Moshe Ya'alon (L) at a event in Tel Aviv, January 29th, 2019
Polls taken on Wednesday in the wake of former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz’s first speech in politics – and his bond with former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon – found that he poses a threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The polls indicated that the address and the deal with Ya’alon elevated Gantz into a serious alternative to Netanyahu and his Likud Party.
When asked who is most fit to be prime minister, a survey taken by pollster Camil Fuchs for Channel 13 found that an equal number of Israelis, 42%, consider Netanyahu and Gantz fit to be prime minister.
A survey by pollsters Mano Geva and Mina Tzemach for Channel 12 found that 36% see Netanyahu as most fit and 35% preferred Gantz, up from 28% two weeks ago. A Directpolls survey for Kan News found a larger gap of 47% for Netanyahu and 41% for Gantz.
The polls found that Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party, which had peaked at 15 seats before, would win as many as 24 seats if the April 9 election were to be held now – and that the gap with the Likud was as little as six seats.
According to the Channel 13 poll, Likud would win 20 seats and Gantz’s party 24. In the Channel 12 poll, the gap was 30 seats for Likud to 21 for the Israel Resilience Party. Kan News predicted 31 seats for Likud and 23 for Gantz.
The polls found that the parties aligned with Netanyahu on the Right might not achieve the 61 MKs needed for a blocking majority, and that if Netanyahu, as expected, gets indicted pending a hearing next month, he could have a significant challenge forming a government.
Due to the gain in support for Israel Resilience, Yesh Atid fell to a range of only nine to 11 seats and Labor would get six to eight. MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua Party did not even cross the 3.25% electoral threshold in any of the polls.
In one of the polls, MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher Party also did not cross the threshold, which could put pressure on her to accept Gantz’s offer to run together with his party.
A poll published earlier Wednesday on Walla News that was taken by Panels Research found that Netanyahu can be beaten if Gantz, Ya’alon, former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi and Yesh Atid all run together.
The poll found that the combination of the three former IDF chiefs and Lapid would win 33 seats, compared to 27 for Netanyahu’s Likud. When asked who should lead such a list, 45% said Gantz, 16% Lapid and 37% did not know or said they had no opinion.
The Walla News poll also found that if no further alliances take place, Netanyahu’s Likud would win with 29 seats, the Gantz-Ya’alon list would win 19, Yesh Atid would get 12 and Labor would get only seven.
If Gesher leader MK Orly Levy-Abecassis joined the Gantz-Ya’alon pact, that list would win an additional 5 seats to 24, compared to the same 29 for Likud and 12 for Yesh Atid.
A poll last week by the same pollster had predicted 33 seats for Likud before Gantz joined up with Ya’alon. In that poll, Gantz’s party won 12 seats and Ya’alon’s did not cross the 3.25% electoral threshold.