Polls indicate far-right split could harm Netanyahu chances of forming next gov’t
Polls published today indicate that plans by far-right Itamar Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit to run separately from Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism could damage Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances of forming a government after the November elections.
The polls also indicate no bump for the Benny Gantz, Gideon Sa’ar alliance, National Unity, since the addition of former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot.
According to a Channel 12 poll, if they run separately, Ben Gvir will get 9 seats and Smotrich will fail to pass the electoral threshold, leaving the pro-Netanyahu bloc on 58 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.
If the two run together, they will garner 11 seats and the pro-Netanyahu bloc edges up to 59 seats.
Channel 12 forecasts Likud with 34; Yesh Atid 23; National Unity 13; Otzma Yehudit 9; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Meretz 6; Yisrael Beytenu 5; Labor 5; Joint List 5; and Ra’am 5.
Both Religious Zionism and Ayelet Shaked’s Zionist Spirit fail to cross the threshold.
A poll by the Kan public broadcaster has Smotrich’s party just scraping in with 4 seats, pushing Netanyahu’s bloc up to 60 seats, 1 short of a majority.
According to Kan, Likud will win 33; Yesh Atid 22; National Unity 14; Otzma Yehudit 8; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 5; Meretz 5; Labor 5; Joint List 5; Religious Zionism 4; and Ra’am 4.
Zionist Spirit again does not make the cutoff.
By contrast, a Channel 13 poll sees both Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionism with a strong showing, although largely at the expense of Likud.
The Channel 13 poll gives Likud 30; Yesh Atid 23; National Unity 12; Otzma Yehudit 9; Shas 8; United Torah Judaism 7; Religious Zionism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 6; Labor 5; Joint List 5; Meretz 4 and Ra’am 4.
The pro-Netanyahu bloc is on 61 in this poll. Shaked’s Zionist Spirit falls below the threshold again.
With Israel’s relatively high electoral threshold, smaller parties often feel the need to merge with each other to ensure they get into the Knesset. Ballots cast for parties that don’t garner at least 3.25% of the vote are considered lost, often leading to tens of thousands of wasted votes.
While the polls are often not accurate, they do influence the considerations of the politicians.