A new poll Friday shows that if elections were held today, the right-wing bloc, including the Likud, chareidi parties, and Religious Zionist Parties would reach 58 Knesset seats – slightly more than in a poll last week, but not enough to form a government.
The center-left, including Arab parties, would get 54 seats. Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party remains the kingmaker; without the 8 seats the party would get, neither side could form a government.
But things are more complicated than that. Liberman has declared numerous times that he would only join a unity government which included the Likud and Blue and White party; any coalition Liberman joins would be unlikely to include either chareidim or Arabs; and MKs for Blue and White still say that they will not join a government in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is a major figure, until the legal issues he is involved in are resolved.
Complicating matters even further is the likelihood, according to the Radio 103/Maariv poll, that Netanyahu would be forming the government – and thus would expect to be prime minister, at least for the first half of what could be a joint government with Blue and White, with Benny Gantz and Netanyahu taking turns leading the government.
The poll shows the Likud getting 33 seats, Blue and White with 30, the United Arab List with 10, and Yisrael Beytenu with 8. Shas would get 8, and United Torah Judaism 7. The New Right, led by Naftali Bennett and possibly Moshe Feiglin, would get 6 seats. Meretz and Labor would get 5 each. Teetering on the electoral threshold are the United Right List, and the Israel Democracy Party, the new party started by Ehud Barak.
Speaking Friday, Blue and White’s Yair Lapid slammed Barak, saying that he would split the votes on the center-left and “waste 100,000 votes, guaranteeing another four years of Netanyahu’s corruption.”