Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a double-digit lead over his top potential challengers in a new Israeli general election, according to a poll released Monday.
The poll, conducted by the Midgam agency on behalf of Israel’s Channel 2, surveyed 525 Israelis and found that 39 percent believe Netanyahu is best suited to be prime minister in a runoff against Zionist Union alliance leader Avi Gabbay, who received 19 percent support among respondents.
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid received 20 percent of the vote in a theoretical runoff against Netanyahu, with the incumbent prime minister receiving 35 percent. The survey also indicated that Netanyahu’s Likud party would defeat Yesh Atid in a legislative election, with 24 seats in the Knesset for Likud and 22 for Yesh Atid.
In Israel’s election system, the head of the party that garners the most Knesset seats has the first opportunity to form a governing coalition, which requires a minimum of 61 seats among the 120-member legislature.
According to the poll, the Zionist Union would receive 18 Knesset seats in a new election, Education Minister Naftali Bennet’s Jewish Home party would receive 12 and the Joint List, an alliance of Arab parties, would also receive 12. Netanyahu’s current coalition partners would lose a combined six seats, falling from 67 to 61, with the Knesset’s opposition parties rising from 53 to 59 seats, the survey said.