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Poll: Gantz popularity increases, Religious Zionist Party falls below electoral threshold

November 25, 2023 at 10:09 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attend a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023. [Photo by ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

A poll on Friday showed an increase in the popularity of the head of the National Camp bloc and member of the War Cabinet, Benny Gantz, highlighting that he has significantly surpassed the Likud Party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the surprise in the poll was the fall under the threshold rate of the far-right and racist Religious Zionist Party, headed by the Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich.

If Knesset elections were held now, the opposition parties, including the National Camp and the Arab parties, would obtain 79 seats, compared to 41 seats for the current coalition parties, according to the poll published by Maariv.

According to the poll, if Knesset elections were held now, the results would be as follows:

The National Camp would win 43 seats, one more than last week. Likud’s representation would also increase by one seat, winning 18. The Yesh Atid Party would fall one seat to 13.

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The representation of the Shas Party increased from eight to nine seats. In comparison, the Yisrael Beiteinu Party remained stable at seven seats, as did the United Torah Judaism bloc, which obtained seven seats. The representation of the extremist fascist party, Otzma Yehudit, increased from six to seven seats, while the Meretz Party rose from four to five seats. The Arab Front for Change and the United List each obtained five seats.

The Religious Zionist Party would receive 2.5 per cent of the votes (i.e. less than the electoral threshold of 3.25 per cent), the Labor Party would receive 2.2 per cent and the Balad Party 1.3 per cent. However, it must be noted that such polls do not use a sample that represents Arab society.

Gantz outperformed Netanyahu in terms of suitability to assume the position of prime minister, as 52 per cent said that Gantz was more suitable, compared to 21 per cent who considered Netanyahu to be more suitable. The poll also indicated a decline in Netanyahu’s popularity among his voters due to the war on Gaza, as 52 per cent said that he is most fitting to head the government. In comparison, 26 per cent of Likud voters chose Gantz.

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