After a political week that ran the gamut from the nadir, with the near-dissolution of the coalition on Tuesday – to the apex, with the passage of the 2019 state budget on Wednesday – the Likud and its leader, Binyamin Netanyahu have emerged politically stronger than ever. An internal Likud poll shows the party taking 39 seats in new elections, more than any other poll until now.
The poll, taken on behalf of the party by the Geocartigrafia organization, and published in Yisrael Hayom, shows that Netanyahu could easily form a new government if elections were held now. One shocking result of the poll is the poor showing of Yesh Atid, which gets only 10 seats in the Knessset. Other recent polls have shown the party getting in excess of 20 seats. The poll also shows Zionist Camp coming away with just 10 seats.
Among the chareidi parties, the poll shows United Torah Jewry getting nine seats. Shas, on the other hand, does not pass the election threshold, which requires that the party get enough votes for at least four seats in order to qualify for Knessset representation.
Jewish Home would get eight seats if elections were held now, according to the poll. Meretz would get seven, and Kulanu would come away with five. The poll also shows that a party led by MK Orly Levy-Abekasis, who resigned from Yisrael Beytenu in 2016 and serves as an independent Knesset member now, would get seven seats, while Yisrael Beytenu itself would get only five.
With the passage of the 2019 state budget, the current government has accomplished one of its main goals, and media commentators said this week that it appeared that the government would indeed survive until scheduled elections in November 2019. With that said, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon told Hadashot News in an interview that if Netanyahu was indicted in one of the scandals he is being investigated for, the government would come to an end.
“If the State Attorney decides to file an indictment, he cannot continue on as Prime Minister,” said Kahlon. “He knows this himself and I am sure he will resign if that is the situation. In any event, we won’t be a part of a government like that.”