If the election was held today, neither the bloc led by Prime Minister Yair Lapid nor the bloc led by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu would be able to form a government, according to a new poll conducted by Panel Politics on behalf of Ma’ariv. The Netanyahu bloc would receive 60 seats, the Lapid bloc 56 seats, and Hadash-Ta’al would round out the remaining four seats, the poll found.
The Likud would receive 31 seats, one less than last Friday’s poll. The extra seat would go to the Religious Zionist Party led by MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, which would win 14 seats, one more than last week.
Yesh Atid also would lose a seat and win 23 in favor of Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, which would rise from six to seven seats.
In addition, Bayit Yehudi, led by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, would crash to only 1.8% of the vote, below the required 3.25% threshold needed to join the Knesset.
Full election poll results
The poll's full results were Likud 31, Yesh Atid 23, Religious Zionist Party 14, National Unity 12, Shas eight, United Torah Judaism seven, Yisrael Beytenu six, Labor five, Meretz five, Hadash-Ta’al four and Ra’am four.
Balad rose from 1.1% to 1.4%, and former MK Abir Kara’s Economic Freedom Party rose from 0.7% to 1.4% of the vote.
Some 73% of all the poll’s respondents said they would vote, with no difference between Netanyahu and Lapid voters.
Of these, 48% of Arab voters said they would vote, far higher than 40% in the previous poll.
The poll included 712 participants, with a stated margin of error +/-3.7%.
In other political news from Thursday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz reiterated in a press conference that there was no scenario in which he would join a government with Netanyahu after Smotrich said earlier this week that he knew “for a fact” that Gantz did want such a government.
“I expect Lapid and the other heads of the coalition parties to act in the same manner and not conduct direct or indirect negotiations with Netanyahu’s friends or businessmen,” Gantz said.
“We are witnessing a violent expedition by irresponsible and inexperienced politicians led by Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, which is inflaming the situation on the ground, encouraging nationalist crime and attacking IDF soldiers,” Gantz added regarding an incident on Wednesday night in which settlers attacked Israeli security forces in the West Bank town of Huwara.
Earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu said at a rally in Dimona that Gantz would not be in his government. “I will not give up on the Religious Zionist [Party] in order to receive some article in Haaretz,” he said, referring to reports that he was unwilling to appear in public next to Ben-Gvir because he was entertaining the option of forming a government with Gantz.
In an interview on Channel 12 on Thursday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked attacked her former political ally, Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, saying, “Bennett gave Lapid the leadership on a gold platter and blocked the option of forming a right-wing government. When he called to tell me this I said, ‘What?’
“I fought alone in the trenches for what was important to the Right, and I told him that he cared less for those things, and he agreed,” Shaked added.
She also claimed to have attacked Bennett for using the term “West Bank” instead of “Judea and Samaria.”
Bennett’s office said in response, “Former prime minister Bennett refrained until now from addressing the campaigns. He is proud that he was consistent in his nationalist views, and safeguarded the Israeli interest at every crossroads while viewing himself as the prime minister of all Israelis, not just a specific sector.
“The internal hatred is endangering Israel and we must overcome it and learn to live together."Office of Naftali Bennett
“The internal hatred is endangering Israel and we must overcome it and learn to live together. Their joint paths have ended, but Bennett appreciates Ayelet Shaked and her contributions,” Bennett’s office concluded.