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Latest election poll shows Benny Gantz strengthening as Netanyahu drops again

Governing Likud party would fall to only 19 seats

Head of the National Unity party Minister Benny Gantz holds a press conference at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, April 21, 2024 (Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90).

The latest opinion poll published by the Maariv newspaper on Friday indicated a rise in support for Israel's National Unity party, led by War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party experienced another decline following a short recovery in the preceding poll.

If elections were held in Israel today, Gantz’s party would receive 31 mandates, leading by a wide margin of 12 mandates over the second-place Likud, which would only receive 19 mandates.

The Yesh Atid party, led by current opposition leader Yair Lapid, would garner 13 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, while Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party would rank fourth place with 12 seats.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s party, Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), continued its strong showings in recent polls with 10 mandates. Following would be the ultra-Orthodox parties, with Shas securing 9 seats and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) with 7.

Three parties would receive 5 mandates, just one seat above the election threshold: Religious Zionism, led by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich; the Islamist Ra’am party; and the Arab nationalist-leftist party Hadash-Ta’al.

The far-left Meretz party teeters on the brink with four mandates, while Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party and the Labor party wouldn’t pass the threshold at the moment.

This means that the current opposition forces would have 60 seats, while the current government would trail behind with 50 seats. A coalition needs to secure 61 out of the 120 seats to form a government.

The remaining 10 seats belong to the Arab parties Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am, which are not expected to be included in a future government by either side.

Further polling assessed the preferred prime minister among the Israeli population: 47% expressed a preference for Gantz, 33% indicated they favored the incumbent Netanyahu to remain in office, and 20% were undecided.

While Maariv's results largely agreed with another poll carried out by Israel's Channel 12 this week, the TV channel asked an additional question: How would results change in the case that former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen would join Gideon Sa’ar to create a new center-right party?

In this situation, Gantz’s National Unity would drop to 23 mandates, and the Bennett-Cohen-Sa’ar party would soar to second place with 18 mandates.

The new party would steal votes from the Likud, Yisrael Beytenu, Yesh Atid and Otzma Yehudit lists; each would receive 16, 12, 7, and 8 seats, respectively.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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