Poll: Electoral Demise Threatens Right-Wing Party

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel elections
Rabbi Rafi Peretz (R) and Bezalel Smotrich, heads of Jewish Home and National Union, respectively. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A likely casualty of another round of elections in Israel would be the Jewish Home-National Union alliance, which ran on the Yamina slate with New Right in September, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by Midgam for Walla news, said that if voting were held today, the two parties would not pass the electoral threshold. Jewish Home, led by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, and National Union, headed by MK Bezalel Smotrich, would receive a mere 2.3 percent of the votes, well shy of the 3.25 needed to win seats in the Knesset.

The New Right party, led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, which has announced its plan to run independently if new elections are necessary, polled at 7 seats.

Blue and White was forecast to be the largest party with 34, followed by Likud with 33, the Joint List with 13, Yisrael Beytenu with 8 and Labor-Gesher with 5, Democratic Camp with 4 seats.

However, none of this would affect coalition-making prospects, since PM Netanyahu’s bloc of supporters would still only have 56 seats in the 120-member Knesset, short of a majority.

Also on Tuesday, Direct Polls published its findings on Channel 13 that 53 percent of Likud members will support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the upcoming leadership vote, versus 40 percent for Gideon Saar.

One of the owners of Direct Polls is Shlomo Filber, currently a state witness against Netanyahu.

When asked who should lead the Likud when Netanyahu resigns or finishes his term as chairman, Saar led the list with 39.4 percent, followed by Nir Barkat with 23.6 percent, Yisrael Katz with 6.2, Yuli Edelstein with 4.4 and Miri Regev last with 2.3 percent. The remaining 18.6 percent remain undecided.