On Sunday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed early elections would likely take place, and on Monday a newspaper poll found that he should be sitting pretty once Israelis do go to the polls.
A survey published in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth found the Likud party would likely take 30 Knesset seats in upcoming elections, enough to keep Netanyahu in power. However, a significant shuffle of party seats can be expected in the elections that are likely to be held this fall.
The Labor Party, led by MK Shelly Yachimovich and currently with just eight seats, would jump to second place with 18 seats, the poll said.
The Yisrael Beiteinu party, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is predicted to lose three seats to finish with just 13, but would still become the third-largest party.
However, Kadima, currently the largest Knesset faction with 28 seats and now headed by MK Shaul Mofaz, would tumble to just 11 seats in the election, putting it into fourth place, according to the poll.
Meanwhile, the newly established Yesh Atid party under ex-journalist Yair Lapid would jump in with 11 seats. Should former Kadima head Tzipi Livni throw her lot in with Lapid, the party would garner 16 seats, at the expense of Labor and Kadima.
The new Deri party led by former MK Aryeh Deri would gain three seats while the Meretz party would obtain five seats.
Arab parties would hold 11 seats between them and the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party would maintain its six seats in the Knesset. The far-right parties National Union and Jewish Home will finish with two seats each, the poll predicted.
However, shifting political allegiances in the run-up to the elections could make significant differences to the results. Should Aryeh Deri return to lead his former party Shas, the move would give them 11 seats.
Livni’s political intentions remain unclear. The Knesset began its the summer session on Monday but Livni, who was soundly defeated in her party elections by Mofaz, was not expected to make an appearance, Yedioth reported. Following her ousting as party leader Livni announced her aim of taking a break from politics but since then has given no indication of her long-term plans.
The poll was conducted by Yedioth and Mina Tzemach of the Dahaf Institute.