Labor Suffers Following V15 Controversy, Likud Strengthens

The chances of Labor-Hatnua forming Israel's next government in the 20th Knesset are looking less and less likely, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party continues to gain in polls. 

If elections were held today, according to the TNS survey for Walla! News, Likud would be the largest party in the Knesset with 26 seats. It appears the fallout from the "Bottle-gate" Netanyahu scandal has been relatively minimal. 

Labor-Hatnua, on the other hand, seems to be suffering from the V15 controversy, and has dropped down to 23 mandates – their worst polling in weeks. 

In the past week, Labor has tried desperately to distance itself from the V15 campaign, who has been accused of funding the left-wing party with illegal foreign money. 

Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party has seen a jump and is up to ten mandates. This may be a result of the anti-corruption campaign Lapid unveiled this week. 

Naftali Bennet's Jewish Home party has so far been unable to recover from the damage caused by the quick joining and then resigning of former soccer player Eli Ohana. The party is down to 12 seats. 

The Joint Arab List would also receive 12 seats, according to the poll. 

Yisrael Beytenu, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, has strengthened up to seven seats, after dropping significantly following a large-scale corruption scandal that wracked the party. 

Moshe Kahlon, Chairman for Kulanu, has risen to eight seats, while Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism both received seven mandates. 

Rounding out the bottom of the survey are far-left Meretz and Eli Yishai's Yachad-Ha'am Itanu, both with four seats. 

The poll also asked respondents whom they preferred as prime minister. While 52.1% said they believed the incumbent, Netanyahu, was suitable for the job, 38.5% answered that they "were not at all interested" in seeing him continue the post. 

30.8% of respondents found Labor Chairman Yitzhak Herzog suitable for the job of prime minister. 

The TNS tele-survey was conducted Wednesday and was based on phone interviews with 500 respondents aged 18 and up. It has an error margin of 2 seats. 


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