The latest electoral poll on Wednesday night showed alternate paths to a coalition that would excluded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.
The Kan broadcaster found that if elections were held now (they’re scheduled for March 23), New Hope leader Gideon Saar with 18 seats to Likud’s 23 could still form a coalition with Yamina (14), Yesh Atid-Telem (13), Ron Huldai’s The Israelis (8), Shas (8) and United Torah Judaism (7). If the religious parties wouldn’t join Saar, Yisrael Beytenu (5) and Blue and White (4) could furnish the needed seats for a majority.
The Joint Arab List would receive 11 seats, Meretz 4 seats.
In another scenario, if Huldai merges with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, they would have a combined 21 seats and become the second largest party. Meretz would be wiped off the map, and a coalition without Netanyahu, consisting of Saar, Lapid, Bennett, Huldai, Liberman and Gantz, could be formed with 65 seats.
When asked who is most suitable to be prime minister, 41% of respondents preferred Netanyahu, and 33% that they would prefer Gideon Saar.
In previous races, Netanyahu led in this category much a much larger margin over other candidates. These latest results indicate that Saar can mount the first credible challenge in years to the Likud’s dominant position.