Poll: Most Likud voters support forgoing right-wing bloc

“We voted for Likud, not the bloc,” new Likud activists campaign states.

A New Likudniks campaign saying "We voted for Likud, not for the bloc! Unity government now!" (photo credit: YAHATZ)
A New Likudniks campaign saying "We voted for Likud, not for the bloc! Unity government now!"
(photo credit: YAHATZ)
Most Likud voters back a unity government based only on their party with Blue and White, a poll conducted by the controversial activist group the New Likudniks found, launching a campaign on Monday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for hanging on to the 55-seat bloc of religious-Right parties.
According to the poll, 57% of Likud voters support such a government – in which Likud and Blue and White would first agree to terms of a coalition and only after would other parties be invited to join – while 30% oppose it. An overwhelming majority of Blue and White voters – 89% – support it, while 4.8% oppose.
In addition, 35.2% of Likud voters said that Netanyahu should give up on the 55-seat bloc before giving up on being prime minister first in a rotation with Gantz, while 22.2% said the reverse; a plurality of 42.7% did not know.
An even greater majority of Likud voters supported the “President’s Plan,” proposed by President Reuven Rivlin, that Netanyahu would be prime minister first, but take a long break to deal with his legal woes, during which Gantz would replace him. Some 63% were in favor while 27.6% opposed it. Among Blue and White voters, 47.2% were in favor, while 40.9% opposed.
The poll, sponsored by the New Likudniks, was taken by the Kantar Institute on October 23-24, after Rivlin tasked Gantz with forming a coalition. The poll was taken online and its participants were 500 Israeli Jewish male and female adults.
The New Likudniks, a controversial group of thousands of party members seeking to make the Likud more moderate, bought outdoor and online advertising space with the slogan, “We voted for the Likud, not the bloc! Unity government now!” The ads feature the photos of Shas leader Arye Deri, United Torah Judaism leader Ya’acov Litzman and Bayit Yehudi No. 2 Bezalel Smotrich.
The group also has an online petition, which states: “We, Likud voters and members call on MKs and Likud Central Committee members to do all they can to establish a unity government with Blue and White, based on shared guidelines between the parties, according to the will of the nation and the votes of over two million voters.”
After a unity government is established, other parties that agree to the guidelines can join it, the petition states.
“The people of Israel will not forgive us if we go to an unnecessary election again, costing billions of shekels,” it concludes.
The petition takes particular issue with the proposal of the “parity government” suggested by the Likud and the president, in which the entire 55-seat bloc would have an equal number of ministers and deputy ministers to the 33-seat Blue and White Party.
“The most important thing is continued Likud leadership through as many ministers and deputy ministers as possible,” it states.
“We don’t need to share portfolios, committee chairmanships and budgets with other parties who our voters didn’t vote for,” senior New Likudnik Nir Hirschman, who was a candidate in the Likud primary earlier this year.
New Likudniks leader Lior Meiri said a national unity government with Likud and Blue and White would be “based on the shared values of most of the liberal public in Israel.”
Hirschman said: “We are Likudniks, not bloc-niks. The chapter of goals listed in the Likud constitution is a liberal document that has nothing in common with the platforms of the ‘bloc’ parties beyond shared interests with someone who is suspected of criminal offenses.
“Let’s see Litzman agree to prohibit gender-based discrimination of Smotrich signing on a bill against racial discrimination,” Hirschman said. “Those are part of the Likud constitution. They won’t agree because those are not their values. Those are the values of Likud members.”