Poll: Blocs split 58-58; Ra’am could be tie-breaker

A Channel 13 poll predicts continued deadlock after the election, with the blocs evenly split and the Islamist Ra’am party narrowly crossing the electoral threshold to become possible kingmaker.

The survey gives Likud 28 seats, followed by Yesh Atid with 20. Yamina is third with 11 seats, followed by Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope with 9; Joint List with 8; Yisrael Beytenu with 7; United Torah Judaism with 7; Shas with 6;  Religious Zionism with 6; Labor with 6.

Just clearing the electoral threshold are Meretz, Blue and White, and Ra’am, all of which pick up four seats.

Mansour Abbas of the Ra’am party holds a press conference after a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on April 16, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The survey indicates that neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies, or those opposed to Netanyahu, can form a majority coalition of at least 61 seats. Netanyahu and his allies have 47 seats, which rises to 58 if Yamina joins. The anti-Netanyahu bloc also has 58 seats, without Yamina. Ra’am could be the tie-breaker.

But according to the survey, 38 percent of respondents say they may change their vote before election day. Among that group, 41% say they will make a final decision on election day, 33% say they will decide 24 hours before next week’s vote, and 26% say they’ll decide this week.

In terms of their preferred prime minister, 35% say Netanyahu, 21 percent say Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, 12% say New Hope’s Sa’ar and 10% say Yamina’s Naftali Bennett.

Asked if they share Netanyahu’s declared assessment that COVID-19 is behind us, 49% say not for a long time, 28% say no, and 16% say yes.

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