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Most Israelis back their parties joining Gantz-led coalition

November 4, 2019 at 11:41 am

Leader of the Blue and White political alliance, former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv on 15 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

A majority of Israelis would support the party they voted for in September’s election joining a coalition headed by the Benny Gantz-led Blue and White list, reported the Times of Israel.

According to a poll conducted by Israel Democracy Institute, whose results were published yesterday, 62 per cent of Israelis “favour the party that they voted for joining a coalition under Gantz”, including “nearly half of right-wing voters”.

The survey found that almost half – 48 per cent – of Likud voters approve such a move, as do 49 per cent of the Yamina list, or more specifically, its constituent right-wing factions.

The poll found that 53 per cent of Israelis would prefer to see a unity government formed, in contrast to only 17.5 per cent of the public who want a third election.

The strong aversion to a third election in under a year is what drives the desire for a unity government.

Thirteen per cent, meanwhile, would back a minority government – that is, one without 61 seats in the Knesset.

READ: Gantz backs assassinations and attacks on Gaza 

Unsurprisingly, given Blue and White’s number two Yair Lapid’s stridently secular politics, support for joining a Gantz-led coalition was lowest amongst ultra-Orthodox voters.

Last month, President Reuven Rivlin gave Gantz the mandate to negotiate a coalition government, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so following September’s polls.

Gantz faces an uphill battle to succeed where Netanyahu failed, however, with one factor being Netanyahu’s right-wing ‘bloc’ of 55 seats.

New Right party leader Naftali Bennett warned yesterday that a third election would be extremely damaging for the right, remarks that came in the context of speculation that Bennett may lead his faction out of the right-wing bloc if it helped facilitate a Likud-Blue and White unity government.

“If I am an obstacle to forming a government, I release Netanyahu from any commitment to me and to the New Right and am ready to sit in the opposition. The main thing is to get a government established,” he told Channel 12, according to the report.