Poll: United Right Becomes No. 3 Party

YERUSHALAYIM -

The latest poll shows that the United Right led by Ayelet Shaked would become the country’s third biggest party, with 13 seats, amid the frantic reconfiguration of Israeli politics less than two days before the deadline for submission of electoral lists.

However, the Channel 12 poll, released Tuesday night, found once again that if elections were held now, neither the right nor the left wing would have enough Knesset seats to form a majority, while Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu remains uncommitted.

Likud and Blue and White were seen tied with 30 each; Joint Arab List would be the fourth largest party, with 11.

With 10 seats, Yisrael Beytenu continues to hold the key to the next government. Liberman said on Tuesday that he would only enter a unity coalition made up of both Likud and Blue and White. But unless Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu steps down, such a combination remains a fantasy.

The chareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism would get 7 and 8 seats, respectively.

The Democratic Union of Ehud Barak, Meretz and former Labor MK Stav Shaffir will receive 7 mandates; Labor-Gesher, 5 seats, according to the poll.

Zehut and Otzma Yehudit would both fail to pass the threshold for entering the Knesset; hence, the pressure on them to merge either with United Right or with each other in a two-party slate. Otherwise, thousands of right-wing votes could be wasted, as happened in the April election, when Zehut and New Right didn’t make the threshhold.