Polls Show Huldai’s Party Crashing

YERUSHALAYIM -
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai’s new party The Israelis has taken just a few weeks to prove its lack of appeal, according to the latest polls.

After months of preparation and an initial showing of as many as 7 or 8 seats, Huldai has sunk below the 3.25 percent threshold for representation in the Knesset.

However, Huldai said he’s not quitting the race.

“The reality of the last few days taught me a lesson: Don’t revel in flattering polls.

“My life’s mission is to replace the leadership” of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Huldai declared. “I am speaking to everyone. We cannot take the risk of running in parties that could end up below the electoral threshold. We have only one way to win: Together.”

This apparently meant that he is open to combining with another party, though recent reports indicated that talks between Huldai and other candidates have so far not been fruitful.

Besides the polls, Huldai lost his No. 2 when Avi Nissenkorn announced his departure from politics on Sunday.

In a press statement, Huldai said he was “saddened” by it, but insisted he will “focus on replacing Netanyahu and regrouping the center-left.”

On the other hand, Labor with its new chairwoman Merav Michaeli seems to be holding its head above water for now, with 4 to 5 seats, 4 being the minimum.

Yaron Zelekha’s Economic Party showed electability for the first time, picking up 4 seats, according to one of the polls.

As for the large parties, there were minor shifts. According to a poll published in Ma’ariv on Friday, Likud takes 30, Yesh Atid 18, New Hope 14, Yamina 12, the Joint Arab List 10 (if it remains intact), Shas and United Torah Judaism 8 each, Yisrael Beitenu7, Meretz 5, and Labor and Blue & White 4 each.

A poll published in Yisrael Hayom on the same day gives Likud 28 seats, Yesh Atid 15, New Hope 13, Yamina and the Joint Arab List 11 each, Shas 9, United Torah Judaism 8, Yisrael Beitenu and Meretz 6 each, Labor 5, Blue & White 5, Economic Party at 4 Knesset seats.

The average result of the five latest polls, according to Globes on Sunday, is as follows:

Likud – 30
Yesh Atid – 17
New Hope – 14
Yamina – 12
Joint Arab List – 10
United Torah Judaism – 7
Shas – 8
Yisrael Beitenu – 7
Meretz – 5
Blue & White – 4
Labor – 4

The numbers do not add up to 120, the total number of seats in the Knesset, because of the averaging process.

An election poll published by Channel 12 on Sunday night said that about 10 percent of the electorate supports parties that are projected to fall below the electoral threshold, increasing the likelihood of mergers before the filing deadline on Thursday.