Polls: Blue and White supporters turn on party over minority government

Polls show the Right would gain 61 seats due to opposition within Blue and White over a minority government.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Support for Blue and White is dropping among its supporters due to party chairman Benny Gantz’s attempt to form a minority government backed by the Arab Joint List, Israel’s Channel 20 revealed Tuesday.

Based on two polls conducted by the network over the last week, it reported that between seven and eight Knesset seats’ worth of voters – over 230,000 people – are strongly against such a government.

Most of them are supporters of the two more right-wing factions in the Blue and White faction – former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem party and Benny Gantz’s own Israeli Resilience party.

Four mandates have already abandoned Blue and White and have gone over to the Likud, the report said.

A Thursday survey commissioned by Israel Hayom showed that Gantz does not have a majority in his own party for a minority government, although supporters do outweigh opponents of the move, 47 percent to 39 percent.

A poll of the general public, however, showed far less enthusiasm. A Ma’agar Mohot poll showed that only 17 percent of the respondents favored a minority government supported by the Arab List.

Almost half said they preferred either a unity government consisting of the two largest parties, or one with a broader coalition (31 percent). Just over a quarter, 26 percent, would still like to see a narrow, right-wing government.

Blue and White may not be able to reach the magic number of 61 Knesset supporters even if it does manage to swallow the pro-Palestinian conditions that the Joint List has hinted that it will demand in exchange for its support.

This is because three of its own members have come out against such a government – Yoaz Hendel, Zvi Hauser and Chilli Tropper. They are pushing hard for a unity government instead.

In general, if elections were held today, the Channel 20 poll showed that the right-wing-religious bloc would receive 61 seats versus the left-wing-Liberman-Arab bloc’s 59.

The report added that support for the right wing could also be stronger because in the midst of all the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the public prefers an experienced hand at the helm and would select Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his politically untested rival.