New Poll Shows Little Would Change in New Elections

Workers pack ballot boxes ahead of the Knesset elections. (Flash90)

As Israelis approach a situation where they will be going to vote for the third time in a calendar year, polls show that little has changed from the attitude of voters in the first two election campaigns. A Kan News poll released Monday shows that if elections were held today, the results would be similar to those that characterize the current Knesset. Those elections will take place in March unless a government is formed by Wednesday; if that does not happen, the Knesset will disperse and a date for elections will be set.

The poll shows Blue and White still the largest party, with 35 MKs, followed closely by the Likud, which would get 34. The third largest party would again be the United Arab List, with 13 seats. Shas and United Torah Judaism would get eight each, while Yisrael Beytenu would get seven. The New Right would get six, Labor five, and the Democratic Camp four.

The results of the poll show no majority for either a Likud or Blue and White-led government, based on the current affiliations of parties. The current rightwing/chareidi bloc would gain one Knesset seat over its current number, rising to 56 seats, while the leftist coalition led by Blue and White could count on just 44 seats. Once again, Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beytenu would hold the key to a rightwing government in his hand, while the chances of Benny Gantz forming a government as long as the rightwing/chareidi bloc holds is next to nil, as he would have to recruit both the United Arab List and Yisrael Beytenu into a government led by him – a task he failed at during the current Knesset.

While the poll did not list alternatives to the Likud leadership, with the assumption that it will be led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, it did say that 17% of Blue and White voters would consider changing their vote if Gideon Saar led the Likud. On Sunday night, the Likud voted not to hold primaries, which means that the party will be going into new elections with Netanyahu at the helm.