Netanyahu in election lead

GAME ON: Blue and White party leaders Yair Lapid (left) and Gabi Ashkenazi take a break from politics with a game of backgammon

PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party took the lead over Blue and White in a new poll for the first time since the formation of the party of former IDF chiefs Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gabi Ashkenazi and former finance minister Yair Lapid.

The Direct Polls survey found that if the April 9 election took place now, Likud would win 31 seats and Blue and White 30. Netanyahu’s right-centre bloc would have a 63-57 majority over Gantz’s centre-left, which would enable Netanyahu to form another right-wing coalition.

The poll was released as the two parties attacked each other on security issues following the murder of Staff Sergeant Gal Keidan by a terrorist near Ariel on Sunday. Culture Minister Miri Regev said that Gantz and Lapid want to form a government with Arab members of the Knesset and that “this weak Left will lead to more attacks”.

But Ashkenazi said: “The dead are not yet buried and Miri Regev — a former senior IDF officer — is already dancing on the blood with cheap politics. She should be ashamed of herself. Stop, we are sick of it.”

At a Blue and White rally in Haifa, Gantz lamented that “politicians decided to take advantage of the attack for political gain”.

He added: “In the past, it was clear that dancing on blood was unacceptable. But this government does not think that applies to them.”

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