Final polls before elections give Herzog 4-point lead

Zionist Union projected to take between 24 to 26 seats, Joint Arab List appears secure as third largest Knesset party

Leader of the Labor Party and Zionist Union list Isaac Herzog on February 8, 2015 (Photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Leader of the Labor Party and Zionist Union list Isaac Herzog on February 8, 2015 (Photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

With just four days until election day, the final polls published Friday indicated that the Zionist Union has a comfortable four-seat lead over Likud going into the final stretch. Likud still seems slightly better placed to build a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knesset, the polls showed, but forming a stable majority could be a complex task for either of the two main parties.

Israeli election rules prohibit the publication of voter surveys after the last Friday before elections, making the Channel 2 and Channel 10 polls the last glimpse at the prospective outcome of the national elections before ballots close Tuesday evening.

According to a survey conducted by Channel 2, the Zionist Union held a projected four-point lead over Likud, with 26 seats to 22. The Joint (Arab) List came in third place with 13 seats, followed by Yesh Atid with 12 and Jewish Home with 11.

Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party took eight seats, Shas seven, the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism list with six, and Yisrael Beytenu, Meretz and Yahad with five apiece.

The survey, which polled 1,230 Israeli adults, had a margin of error of 5.2 percent.

The survey also showed 43% want Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister and 35% prefer Herzog.

Channel 10’s poll gave Herzog’s Zionist Union 24 seats, Likud 20, the Joint List 13, Yesh Atid 12, Jewish Home 12, Kulanu 10, UTJ seven, Shas seven, and Yisrael Beytenu, Meretz and Yahad five each.

This poll marked a three-seat drop for the ruling Likud party since Netanyahu’s speech before the US Congress on March 3.

The poll surveyed 1,203 Israelis and didn’t publish a margin of error.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the Channel 10 survey said they were sure they’d go vote in Tuesday’s election, and 16% said they’d likely head to the polls; 5% said they wouldn’t.

Channel 2 and 10’s polls yielded results consistent with those published earlier on Friday in the Hebrew press, which gave the Zionist Union between two and four seats more than Likud. Yesh Atid consistently polled around 12 or 13 seats, trading off third place with the Joint List.

While recent polls have Herzog in the lead, however, political analysts still say Netanyahu’s Likud party has a better chance of forming a coalition in the emerging Knesset map.

Netanyahu has ruled out the notion of sharing the prime ministerial seat in a unity government with the Zionist Union. “I won’t rotate the premiership,” he vowed earlier this week. “It must be prevented.”

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