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Likud falls behind in first polls after Gantz-Lapid merger

February 22, 2019 at 10:50 am

Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defence Minister Benny Gantz [Twitter]

Three separate polls commissioned in the immediate aftermath of the merger of Israel Resilience (Hosen L’Yisrael) and Yesh Atid have given the Kahol Lavan (Blue and White) ticket a lead over Likud, reported Haaretz.

Ahead of the deadline for the submission of electoral lists, former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz and opposition politician Yair Lapid announced that they would run together in the election.

Gantz had already joined forces with former military chief Moshe Ya’alon, and the newly-expanded ticket further includes another former military chief, Gabi Ashkenazi.

READ: Israel’s Gantz and Lapid merge lists, agree premier rotation

Three polls all gave the new Kahol Lavan list a lead over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party.

A Channel 12 poll showed the party would get 36 seats in the next Knesset, while Likud would receive 30, while Channel 13’s poll gave Kahol Lavan 36 seats, compared to 26 for Likud.

Public broadcaster Kan’s poll, meanwhile, predicted 35 seats for Kahol Lavan, and Likud following up with 32.

Channel 12 also asked respondents who they preferred as prime minister, with 37 per cent of those surveyed opting for Netanyahu, and 36 per cent said they favoured Gantz and Lapid.

Modest Netanyahu – “I am ready to leave my position tomorrow as prime minister, but I have no one to leave the keys with” – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]