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Poll: Former Israel military chief Ashkenazi adds 6 seats to Gantz’s party

February 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Former Israeli Chief of Defence Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (L) on 17 November 2010. [US Department of Defence/Wikipedia]

A new poll published yesterday shows that former Israeli military chief Gabi Ashkenazi would “significantly boost” Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience party, if he joins ahead of elections.

According to the report in the Times of Israel, the poll by the Kan public broadcaster showed Gantz’s party collecting 28 seats in the Knesset if Ashkenazi joins, compared to 22 seats without him.

However, the report noted, “like other recent surveys, Wednesday’s still predicted that Likud would remain the ruling party if elections were held today, winning 32 seats regardless of whether Ashkenazi joins Gantz.”

While the poll gave 11 seats to Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, the results also indicated that were Gantz and Lapid to join forces, their joint slate would win 35 seats. However, in that scenario, Likud also wins 35 seats – and “has an easier path towards forming a coalition”.

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Yesterday’s poll also found Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right getting seven seats, the same as Ahmad Tibi’s Ta’al party. The remaining Joint List alliance would get six seats, the same as Labour. United Torah Judaism, Shas, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu all scored five seats in the poll.

Kulanu and Meretz, meanwhile, got four seats each, while Orly Levy-Abekasis’s Gesher party, Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua and Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut failed to pass the election threshold.

The Times of Israel noted that “in all scenarios, current coalition parties will have a majority of between 63 and 65 Knesset seats that will enable them to form the next government”.