Poll Shows Likud Gaining Ground

YERUSHALAYIM -
(Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Days ahead of the deadline set by the Central Election Committee for political parties to present their slates ahead of the March elections, a new poll shows that Likud has gained ground on its rivals.

A poll by Channel 12 News found that were elections held at this time, the Likud would win 30 Knesset seats, followed by Yesh Atid (17), New Hope (14), Yamina (13), and the Joint List of Arab parties (10).

Shas would secure eight seats, as would United Torah Judaism. Yisrael Beytenu would win seven seats, followed by Labor (5), Meretz (4) and Blue and White (4).

The smaller parties fail to cross the electoral threshold of 3.25% of the votes. These include the Economic, Religious Zionist, Israelis, Pensioners, Tnufa, Telem and Gesher factions.

The poll also explored whether a split in the Joint List would affect its power.

Formed ahead of the 2015  election, the Joint List – an alliance comprising the Arab or mostly Arab parties Balad, Ra’am, Ta’al and Hadash parties – has been plagued by internal strife since its inception, with the Balad party clashing with its more moderate counterparts.

Disagreements reached a new high over the past few weeks over Ra’am head MK Mansour Abbas’s rapprochement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The move has placed Abbas on a collision course with other Joint List members, and party insiders say a split seems inevitable.

The move, however, will not be in Ra’am’s favor. According to Channel 12 News, should Abbas split from the Joint List, Ra’am will fall below the electoral threshold, while the Joint List would lose one Knesset seat, securing just nine seats.

Over on the left, a potential merger between Labor and the Israelis party could see the latter scrape by the electoral threshold, giving a joint ticket seven seats.