TEL AVIV – Despite developments over the past two days regarding the Bezeq corruption case, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would remain in power and even gain an additional four seats if elections were held today, a new poll released this week shows.
The poll, conducted by the Geocartographic Institute on behalf of the Israel Hayom daily, found that Likud would gain 34 seats, up from 30. It also showed that Yair Lapid’s party Yesh Atid would secure 20 seats, compared to its current 11. The Jewish Home would gain an additional 6 seats, up from its current 8.
In a separate poll released by Channel 10 Wednesday and conducted by Midgam, the Likud party would lose seats if elections were held today but would still remain the largest party. Furthermore, the poll found that were Netanyahu to remain party leader, Likud would gain 27 seats, and 26 without him. Ultra-Orthodox party Shas would not pass the electoral threshold.
According to Channel 10, Netanyahu threatened his coalition partners that he will call early elections if anyone attempts to push him out.
The channel’s poll also found that Yesh Atid would become the second biggest party with 23 seats. In the opposition, Zionist Union would drop from its current 24 to only 15 seats.
The Joint (Arab) List would drop one seat to 12 while Jewish Home would increase from 8 to 10 seats. In the Channel 10 poll, Shas would remain in the Knesset but would lose two seats to have 5.
A third poll commissioned by Hadashot news found that 50% of those polled think Netanyahu should resign, compared with 33% who think that he should remain in office.
42% of respondents said that new elections should be held as a result of the investigations against Netanyahu, while 36% opposed the idea.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported similar findings with three separate polls.
Netanyahu is facing a series of corruption investigations.
Communications Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber signed a state witness deal Tuesday in the so-called Case 4000 involving telecommunications company Bezeq. Filber reportedly claims to have been ordered by the prime minister to ease regulations on Bezeq in return for the phone company’s chief shareholder Shaul Elovitch giving Netanyahu positive coverage on his news site Walla.
Case 1000 charges Netanyahu and his wife Sara with receiving illegal gifts from billionaire benefactors, including Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer.
In Case 2000, Netanyahu is suspected of striking a deal with media mogul Arnon (Noni) Mozes whereby the premier would weaken the Sheldon Adelson-backed daily Israel Hayom in return for more favorable coverage in Mozes’ Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. In his defense, Netanyahu said that he specifically voted against the law that would have weakened Israel Hayom, risking his political career in 2014 and calling new elections because of it.