Netanyahu’s lead over Bennett rises to 10 seats in new poll

The gap between Likud and Yamina grew from a low of five seats in an October 8 Panels Research poll and seven last week.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Did Bennett teach Netanyahu a lesson this week?  (photo credit: ATEF SAFADI/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Did Bennett teach Netanyahu a lesson this week?
(photo credit: ATEF SAFADI/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party enjoyed a resurgence in a Panels Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post and Maariv newspapers, rising to a 10-mandate lead over his nemesis Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party.

The poll predicted 30 seats for Likud, 20 for Yamina, 18 for Yesh Atid, 12 for the Joint List, nine each for Blue and White and Shas, eight for Yisrael Beytenu and seven each for United Torah Judaism and Meretz.

The gap between Likud and Yamina grew from a low of five seats in an October 8 Panels Research poll and seven last week. The Likud rose two seats from last week, while Yamina lost one.

The poll of 540 respondents representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population was taken on Wednesday and Thursday amid bad press Netanyahu received over a controversial vote in the Knesset, first in favor and then against a parliamentary probe of his role in the Submarine Affair. The poll’s margin of error was 4.4%.

Other pollsters have reported a closer gap between Likud and Yamina. A survey by veteran pollster Camil Fuchs this week found the gap was three seats.

The polls when the Likud fell to a low point were taken amid the controversy over reports that Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel had violated coronavirus restrictions by traveling to Tiberias from her Tel Aviv home, contracted COVID-19 at a synagogue on Yom Kippur and lied to Health Ministry epidemiologists.

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit cleared Gamliel of all charges this week.

The reports had “court-martialed” her, she told Channel 13 political correspondent Sefi Ovadia on Thursday in her first interview since the incident.

Gamliel attributed the reports to polluting companies she worked against in her ministry.

“They tried to assassinate me politically to stop my reforms,” she said.
Her decision to go to the synagogue was “bad judgment” and “looked bad,” Gamliel said, adding that there were fewer than five women in the synagogue, and she had not violated the law.