In the unlikely event that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to assemble a coalition and Israelis go to the polls again, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would consolidate its position as the second-largest party, catapulting to 25 seats from its current 19, a poll released Tuesday night showed.
Netanyahu’s Likud-Beytenu would remain the largest faction in the Knesset, but would drop from 31 to 28 seats, according to the Channel 2 survey.
A Knesset Channel poll published last week found that Yesh Atid would win a staggering 30 seats, overtaking Likud-Beytenu as the Knesset’s largest faction.
Speculation as to a fresh round of elections was kindled due to a long impasse in coalition talks between Likud-Beytenu and a joint front comprising Yesh Atid and the right-wing Jewish Home party. However, over the past few days, there were reports of substantial progress in talks between the teams of Likud and Jewish Home, and the right-wing party now appears poised to join a Netanyahu-led coalition.
With the Jewish Home hitched to his wagon, Netanyahu would greatly increase his prospects of averting elections.
According to the new poll, if Israelis do ultimately return to the polls, Jewish Home would climb from 12 to 14 seats. While most parties would more or less retain their power, the poll found, the center-left Labor Party would lose three seats, dropping from 15 to 12; as would Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua, which would retain only three of its current six seats.