Poll Has Netanyahu Still Ahead But Struggling to Form Coalition

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Yamina party, could be the kingmaker in the March elections. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The latest electoral poll, released Wednesday night, showed no major change in the constellation of parties ahead of the March 23 elections.

Channel 12 found that if voting took place now, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s Likud would win 28 seats, 10 more than Yesh Atid, the second largest party, with 18, but still might not be able to assemble a coalition.

As in the case of other recent polls, Naftali Bennett’s rightwing Yamina was seen as a kingmaker, with 11 seats. But even if Yamina joins a Likud-led coalition, not at all a foregone conclusion, it might still be a couple short of the necessary 61 MKs.

If Yamina would veer left, on the other hand, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid could theoretically pull together 63 seats.

According to the poll, Gideon Saar’s New Hope would have 13, and almost certain not to go with Likud; Joint List (minus the Ra’am faction) would pick up 9; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu with 7 each; Labor with 6 (flattening out after a brief spurt following the election of Merav Michaeli as chairwoman); Religious Zionism with 5; and Meretz and Blue and White would each win 4.

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