Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Poll reveals dramatic drop in support for Israel’s Likud party

A new opinion poll shows that support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party has plummeted to a low it has not been seen in 17 years. It has disclosed that the party would lose more than a third of its parliamentary seats if an election were held now.

The Channel 13 poll, published on Monday, indicated that Likud party would win 20 seats in the regime’s 120-member parliament, down from the 32 seats it won last November, and his coalition would fail to gain a majority, with 46 seats, down from 64.

According to the poll, the center-right National Union party of former minister of military affairs, Benny Gantz, would become the largest in the Knesset, receiving a whopping 29 seats, more than double the 12 it holds currently.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party would receive 21 seats, dropping from the 24 it currently controls, which would push Likud into becoming just the third-largest party in the Knesset.

The combined Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudit slate would drop from 14 to 11 seats, the poll predicts, and the left-wing Meretz would remain below the electoral threshold and out of the Knesset, while the Palestinian nationalist Balad — which did not make it into the current Knesset — would receive 4 seats.

Asked what they think of Netanyahu’s performance in office, 71 percent of respondents said he was not doing a good job, compared to just 20% who viewed him favorably.

Just 25% of those polled said they wanted to see Netanyahu’s current government remain in office, while 33% said they would like to go to another election and another 33% said they believed Netanyahu and Gantz should form a unity cabinet.

The survey sampled 699 respondents — 599 Jews and 100 non-Jews with a margin of error of 3.7%, according to Channel 13.

The poll results come amid a controversial judicial overhaul, which has now been suspended by Netanyahu’s hard-right administration, but would curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges, as well as escalating tensions with the Palestinians over violent raids on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The struggle over the so-called judicial reforms illustrates the deep divide in Israeli society between supporters of the incumbent right-wing administration, who says the judicial changes are necessary, and the growing number of settlers opposed to Netanyahu’s plan, who argue that the moves will weaken the independence of the regime’s judiciary.

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