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September 24, 2020 9:23 am

Israeli Poll: Right-Wing Yamina Party Closing in on Likud

avatar by JNS.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first working cabinet meeting of the new government at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, in Jerusalem, May 24, 2020. Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters.

JNS.org – A new poll that aired on Channel 12 News on Wednesday night projected that if Knesset elections were held at this time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party would win 29 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party would secure 21.

Yamina has been growing steadily stronger in the polls, and it seems that the national-religious faction comprising the New Right and National Union parties could pose a significant challenge for Likud come next Election Day.

The survey, conducted by the Midgam polling institute, included 512 Israelis aged 18 and above, and has a statistical margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

The data indicated that Opposition leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party would win 17 seats, followed by the Joint Arab List (15), Blue and White (9), ultra-Orthodox Sephardi party Shas (9), Yisrael Beiteinu (8), Ashkenazi haredi party United Torah Judaism (7) and Meretz with five seats.

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As previous polls have shown, Labor is not expected to past the prerequisite four-Knesset-seat electoral threshold — a first for the left-wing party that has been a fixture in Israeli politics since it was founded in the 1960s.

Also falling below the electoral threshold are Gesher, Habayit Hayehudi, Derech Eretz and the far-right Otzma Yehudit parties.

Recent projections give the right-wing bloc 66 seats to the center-left bloc’s 46. Yisrael Beiteinu could join either bloc and was marked by Midgam as “undecided,” but as the right-wing bloc passes the minimal, 61-MK requirement to form a government, Yisrael Beiteinu no longer enjoys the status of tiebreaker, as it did in the 2019-2020 elections.

Asked if they would vote for a party led by MK Yifat Shasha-Biton — a former Kulanu Party lawmaker serving under the auspices of Likud now that her party has dissolved — respondents gave her a projected eight mandates.

This result gives Likud 26 seats, Yamina 19, Yesh Atid 16 and Blue and White seven seats.

Respondents were also asked whom they think is to blame for Israel’s climbing coronavirus morbidity: 48 percent pointed the finger at the public’s flouting of Health Ministry directives, while 42 percent faulted the government.

Asked if they thought that synagogues should be closed during Yom Kippur, 60 percent of respondents said yes, while 32 percent opposed the move.

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