Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has been slipping in the polls. The latest survey has Likud even with Yair Lapid’s,Yesh Atid.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
If elections were held today, the ruling Likud would be in a dead head with the opposition Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party. Each of the top two parties would receive 24 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. The center-left Zionist Union would win 17 seats, while the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party Shas would barely makes it over the threshold at four seats.
In a survey made public on Channel 10 news on Sunday, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party has strengthened considerably – more than doubling its current number of 11 Knesset members. Meanwhile, 24 seats for the Likud would mean a loss of over 20% of its mandate (down from the current 30).
As reported in the Hebrew-language Walla, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparent slide and Lapid’s gain have been building steadily over the past year. Each time there was a new crisis – Israel Railway’s work on the Sabbath last year, the rash of corruption investigations involving Netanyahu that came to light at the beginning of this year, and the recent fiasco concerning the establishment of the new Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation – Yesh Atid seemed to gain at the Likud’s expense. The current surveys showed it may surpass the Likud altogether in the not-too-distant future..
The survey, conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs in conjunction with Midgam and Stat-Net, noted that a major loser would be the center-left Zionist Union, headed by its newly elected leader, Avi Gabbay, which would fall from its current 24 seats to 17. A number of a number of coalition heads had announced that they would not sit in a future government with Gabbay at its head.
The Shas party, which in its heyday boasted 17 Knesset members, is in greater danger, as the new projections show it would barely make it over the election threshold with four seats, down from the seven it has now.
Meanwhile, the other big winner would be Bayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home), headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The survey is predicting that the national religious party would receive 12 seats, up from its current eight.