With the Friday newspapers out, there are a new round of election polls – appearing at the end of a week in which the Israeli political landscape was sharply reshaped by the dissolution of Jewish Home and Zionist Camp Parties. A Maariv poll shows that the Likud remains resilient, with the party still getting 30 seats in the Knesset, despite the changes that have taken place.
Those 30 seats would be assured under any circumstances – even if State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit recommends that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu be indicted for corruption in one of the investigations open against him. The Likud would under any circumstances be the largest single party in the Knesset, according to the poll; the second largest would be United Arab List, with 13 seats.
Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, who left Jewish Home to establish the New Right Party, seem to have benefited from the move. According to the poll, the two would get 11 Knesset seats. The party has not announced its full list of candidates, but among them will be Jewish Home MK Shuli Mualem and Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, who this week accepted an offer to join the list. In the poll, Jewish Home’s electoral power is significantly diminished – but it would still pass the electoral threshold, getting 4 seats.
After an initial bump in polls at the beginning of the week, it appeared that enthusiasm for Benny Gantz and his Resilience Party seem to be waning; the new poll has him getting 12 seats, compared to 16 in the last survey. Yesh Atid would poll at just 12 seats, while Labor would sink to 8 seats. United Torah Judaism would get 7 seats, Shas 5, Kulanu 5, and Meretz 5 as well. Yisrael Beytenu and the Gesher Party of Orly Levy-Abukasis would get 4 each. Tzippy Livni’s Hatnu’a would not make the electoral threshold.
Seen from a coalition perspective, the Likud would easily be able to form a government with its current coalition partners; if Yisrael Beytenu joins, the new Netanyahu-led government would have 65 seats, considered enough for a stable coalition. Together, Lapid, Labor’s Avi Gabay, and Gantz would reach 32 seats, more than the Likud, if all three were to decide to work under the leadership of one of the three party heads – but they would be unlikely to put together a government.
A Yisrael Hayom poll shows similar results, with a Lapid-Gabay-Gantz alignment getting 34 seats, compared to the Likud’s 32. In that poll, the New Right would get 9 seats, Kulanu would get 6, and UTJ and Meretz would get just 5 each. Yisrael Beytenu and Jewish Home would get 4 each. Shas and Hatnu’a would not pass the electoral threshold.