Netanyahu still performing strong, say latest polls

A Tuesday night poll gives the Likud Party 32 seats if elections were held today. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

A Tuesday, Jan. 8, Panel Politics/Walla! News poll shows the Netanyahu-led Likud Party coming away with 32 seats if elections were held today.

The poll suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to go on television Monday night to defend himself against corruption charges did not affect his image negatively among Israel’s public, and may have even helped him.

“I am repeating my request tonight to confront state’s witnesses, I’m willing for it to be live streamed for the public to hear the full truth. I’m confident in my truth,” he said on the Monday announcement.

Israel Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will announce his decision about whether to indict Netanyahu next month, according to justice ministry officials.

The Tuesday poll showed a large gap between the Likud and the second place finisher Yesh Atid, with 13 seats. Yesh Atid is led by former journalist Yair Lapid, who has been an outspoken critic of Netanyahu, demanding that he step down from office due to the investigations against him.

The party placing third is newcomer Israel Resilience (12 seats), founded recently by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Ganz. Ganz has been circumspect about his positions, preferring to remain silent rather than reveal where he stands on specific issues.

A second poll released by Channel 10 on Tuesday also showed the Likud with strong support, earning 30 Knesset seats. Israel Resilience came in second in the poll with 14 seats.

Channel 10 reported, however, that 49 percent of those polled disagree with Netanyahu’s statements that the criminal investigations against him were being conducted in an unfair manner.