TV polls predict another election won’t change much: Israeli politics slated for further deadlock

Workers count votes in national elections, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Workers count votes in national elections, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Polls released by Channels 11, 12 and 13 predict that another election won’t change the makeup between the pro- and anti-Netanyahu blocs enough to end the deadlock that has plagued Israel’s political system for over three years.

The Likud-led bloc — which also includes the Religious Zionism, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties — does stand to gain ground from its current 52 seats, but none of three polls see them picking up a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Channel 11 and 12 polls put them at 59 while Channel 13’s survey has them at 60. All three polls show the Likud would be by far the largest party in the Knesset if elections were held today, projecting Benjamin Netanyahu’s party to win 35 or 36 seats.

The far-right Religious Zionism party — thanks to the popularity of neo-Kahanist MK Itamar Ben Gvir — would jump to nine seats, according to all three polls.

The left-wing Meretz party, which has taken a beating over the conduct of its rebel MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, doesn’t cross the 3.25 percent electoral, according to the Channel 13 poll, while Channel 11 and 12 have the party barely squeaking into the Knesset with four seats.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party would receive either four or five seats, according to the polls, with Channel 12’s predicting that the faction’s voters would turn to center and center-left parties if the premier decides not to run at all.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announce the collapse of their coalition, at a joint appearance at the Knesset, June 20, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who is slated to become interim prime minister as early as next week, would receive between 20 and 22 seats, according to the three network polls, improving from his current 17.

The Islamist Ra’am party, which became the first independent Arab party to join a coalition, is expected to hold its ground at four seats, the polls indicated.

Similar results were given for just about every other party in the current Knesset, which are expected to remain close to their current seat-count total. Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, which has not crossed the threshold in a number of recent polls, is predicted to barely bridge the 3.25% minimum, according to all three polls.

The networks also asked respondents who they felt was most suited to serve as prime minister. Forty-seven percent of respondents said Netanyahu, 31% said Lapid, 18% said they didn’t know and four percent said none of the given options. Lapid’s numbers jumped by six percent since the last time Channel 12 asked that question several days ago — before it was revealed that he would be replacing Bennett as premier.

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