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Netanyahu-led bloc would get 60 seats if elections held, 1 short of majority — poll

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset plenum during a vote on the so-called settler law, June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset plenum during a vote on the so-called settler law, June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc would win 60 seats — one short of a parliamentary majority — if new elections are held, according a television poll released this evening, while Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party would fail to enter the Knesset.

Such an outcome would effectively replicate the current stalemate in the Knesset, where neither the opposition nor the government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has had a parliamentary majority since a member of the premier’s Yamina party quit the coalition.

According to the survey aired by the Kan public broadcaster, Netanyahu’s Likud party would be the largest in the Knesset with 35 seats if elections were held, followed by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid with 20.

The far-right Religious Zionism party is forecast as the third-largest party with 10 seats, while the ultra-Orthodox Shas faction and the coalition’s Blue and White each pick up eight seats in the poll.

The poll gives both the Haredi ultra-Orthodox UTJ and the center-left Labor party seven seats, with Bennett’s right-wing Yamina and the predominantly Arab Joint List getting six seats apiece.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s right-wing secularist Yisrael Beytenu would get five seats, according to the survey, which predicts the coalition’s left-wing Meretz faction and the Islamist Ra’am party would each get four seats.

The poll says Sa’ar’s right-wing New Hope wouldn’t clear the minimum threshold of 3.25 percent of the total vote that parties must clear to enter the Knesset.

Altogether, the parties that currently make up the government — minus New Hope — would have 54 seats; Netanyahu’s Likud and its partners would have 60, while the unallied Joint List would have six. Without a majority, Netanyahu would be unable to replace Bennett as prime minister, potentially prolonging the current Knesset gridlock.

The survey, conducted by Kantar Insights, included 552 respondents. It has a 4.4% margin of error.

The poll, which was conducted today, comes after a bill backed by Sa’ar to renew a measure extending Israeli laws to settlers in the West Bank failed to pass, in a major blow to the coalition.

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