Friday, March 10, 2017

Poll: Netanyahu easily wins additional term as PM

A new poll of Israeli voters suggests that despite a series of investigations against the Prime Minister and First Lady, Binyamin Netanyahu would easily secure another term as premier if elections were held today.

The survey, conducted by pollster Rafi Smith on behalf of Israel Radio, shows Netanyahu’s Likud party defeating its closest competitor, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party by a 4-mandate margin, 26 to 22.

That’s a marked improvement for the Likud, which in late January was trailing Yesh Atid by four seats.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, which currently holds 8 seats, would become the third largest party in the Knesset with 13 if elections were held today.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu inches up from the six it won in 2015 to seven, while Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu drops from 10 to 7.

Among the two haredi parties, Shas remains stable at seven mandates, while United Torah Judaism rises slightly, from six to seven.

Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union – a joint list of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua – loses half of its mandates, plummeting from 24 to just 12 seats.

The far-left Meretz party gains a mandate, rising from 5 to 6, while the Arab Joint List maintains its 13 mandates. READ MORE