Poll Shows Multiple Paths to Coalition

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaking last week at a vaccination center in Sderot. (Liron Moldovan/POOL)

A 61-seat Likud-led ruling majority is in sight for the first time in months, according to a poll by Radio 103 FM released on Tuesday.

But the return path to power for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ would only be possible if Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party could be induced to join the coalition, a highly uncertain prospect, given the bad blood between the two leaders.

According to the poll, if elections were held now, Likud would get 32 seats, more than in any other recent poll.

Gideon Saar’s New Hope would get 14, Yamina 13, United Torah Judaism and Shas would each get 8.

On the center-left, Yesh Atid would get 19 seats, Yisrael Beytenu 7, Labor 5, Meretz 4.

But if Yamina won’t go with Likud, the center-left bloc would have its first chance to gain power in years. Theoretically, Yesh Atid could combine with Yamina, New Hope, Meretz, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor for 62 seats, enough to turn Netanyahu out of office.

The Joint List, if it remains intact, would get 10 seats but would not be needed for a coalition government.

Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party, MK Betzalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionist Party (formerly National Union), Otzma Yehudit, Ron Huldai’s Israelis Party and Yaron Zelekha’s Economy Party would all be consigned to oblivion, after failing to cross the electoral threshold.

That is, if none of them succeed in cutting a deal to run with one of the other parties. They have until Thursday, the filing deadline, to do that.

Meanwhile, in a bid to turn around sagging poll numbers, Bennett has offered Jewish Home Party chairwomn Hagit Moshe 2 slots in his party’s electoral slate, if she’ll run with him, according to Arutz Sheva.

A source in the Jewish Home confirmed that contacts with Bennett are underway.

But a Jewish Home official responded: “We do not conduct negotiations in the media and do not disclose any information from the discussions that take place behind closed doors.”

Earlier Tuesday, Moshe said that her party is currently involved in negotiations with Smotrich for a join campaign.

“There are real efforts underway to unite Religious Zionist into a single force. The Jewish Home and National Union won’t run separately.”

Moshe dismissed reports that Netanyahu is involved in any way with the negotiations.