Press Release

Majority of Israelis Think Netanyahu Should Resign

Most Israelis support a system based on 2 large parties and a Netanyahu-Gantz rotation for the position of prime minister 53.5% of Israelis think Netanyahu should resign immediately, while almost half (47%) of right-wing voters believe that Netanyahu should resign if indicted.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu | Flash 90

October 22, 2019 - The findings of a special survey conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, reveal that 56% of Israelis support a system based on two large political parties and rotating the position of prime minister between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz; 65% believe that Netanyahu – if indicted – should resign from his position as chair of the Likud party, while 53.5% of Israelis think that he should already resign now.

Following are the survey’s main findings:

Netanyahu – Gantz Rotation
56% of the public support rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz in the position of prime minister; 14% support a rotation only if Netanyahu is first in line to serve as PM, and 20% only if Gantz is first. An additional 22% support rotation regardless of who serves first as PM; and 32% oppose any rotation at all. Opposition to rotation is particularly prominent among Shas voters with 67% against the idea while supporters of United Torah Judaism—46%; Likud—31%, and Blue and White—27% oppose this political arrangement.

The ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis in the government:
41% of the general public (43% of Jews and 32% of Arabs) are in favor of including the ultra-Orthodox parties in the government. Analyzing the findings by political camp reveals that 74% of the Left and 71.2% of centrist voters oppose including the ultra-Orthodox in the government, as compared with 60% of the Right, who support their inclusion. There were significant numbers of respondents who “don’t know” – 16% among the Left; 7% among centrist voters; and 10% among the Right.
66% of Jews view the establishment of a coalition supported by the Joint List as problematic; 62% among the general public view having an Arab MK serve as the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs as problematic; and 71% of Jews find it problematic that an Arab MK would serve as the chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee.

The public prefers a 2-party system
Most Israelis (56%) support the idea of two large parties, as compared with 33% who oppose it. Analysis of the findings by political camp reveals that most Likud voters (72%); Blue and White voters (78%), and Labor-Gesher voters (72%) support the principle of two large parties. It is not surprising that the main opposition to reducing the number of parties in Knesset comes from the voters for small parties: The Joint List—42%; and the Democratic Camp—also 42%. The main opposition comes from the ultra-Orthodox parties: Shas (69.5%) and United Torah Judaism (68 %).

Elections: Round #3: “If elections were held today, would you vote for the same party you voted for in the September elections?”

Netanyahu’s Indictment

65% of Israelis believe that Benjamin Netanyahu should resign as head of the Likud if he is indicted, while 24% oppose him resigning. Analysis by political party reveals that 47% of right-wing voters support Netanyahu’s resignation: 82% of Yisrael Beiteinu voters; 65% of Yemina (the Right political alliance) voters; 36% --among United Torah Judaism voters; -- 31% of Likud voters and 29% of Shas voters. 

In response to the question: “It is possible that Netanyahu will be indicted in the near future. Do you believe that he should already resign now from his position as head of the Likud and let someone else replace him” – 53.5% of Israelis responded that indeed, Netanyahu should resign immediately, as compared with 38% who oppose resignation at this time. 

Against the backdrop of the possibility primaries in the Likud, the survey asked respondents to cite the most suitable candidate to head the Likud party in the post-Netanyahu era. MK Gideon Saar receives the greatest support among the general public—41%, as compared with 8% who support MK Yuli-Yoel Edelstein; 6%--Gilad Ardan, and 8%--who support other candidates. Among Likud voters—28% supported Saar; 8%--Edelstein; 14%--Ardan; and 12%--other candidates. 

In the survey, by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute which was conducted on the internet and by telephone (supplements of groups that are not sufficiently represented on the network) from October 3-6, 2019, 501 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 100 in Arabic, constituting a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and older. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample was 4.1%± at a confidence level of 95%. The fieldwork was done by the Panels LTD. under the direction of Menachem Lazar. For the full data file see: