ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

search

Poll predicts political deadlock if elections held, Joint List as kingmaker

Survey sees surge for Likud and Labor, while New Hope would fall under electoral threshold; blocs would be tied, with 56 seats each

Leading candidates in the March 2020 national elections. Clockwise from top left: Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit); Bezalel Smotrich, Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett (Yamina); Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu); Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism); Aryeh Deri (Shas); Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud); Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid (Blue and White); Amir Peretz, Orly Levy-Abekasis and Nitzan Horowitz (Labor-Gesher-Meretz); and Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh (Joint List) (Flash 90)
Leading candidates in the March 2020 national elections. Clockwise from top left: Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit); Bezalel Smotrich, Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett (Yamina); Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu); Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism); Aryeh Deri (Shas); Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud); Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid (Blue and White); Amir Peretz, Orly Levy-Abekasis and Nitzan Horowitz (Labor-Gesher-Meretz); and Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh (Joint List) (Flash 90)

A television survey on Monday predicted the predominantly Arab Joint List would hold the balance of power on forming a coalition if elections were held today, with neither the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox opposition bloc led by Benjamin Netanyahu nor the current governing alliance able to establish a government without its backing.

According to the Channel 13 poll, Netanyahu’s Likud would win 36 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, far ahead of the second-largest party, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which would pick up 20 seats. Merav Michaeli’s Labor would become the third-largest party, with 10 seats, followed by the Joint List with eight.

According to the projection, Benny Gantz’s Blue and White and the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism would each score seven seats; Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina and its former ally-turned-rival Religious Zionism, led by Bezalel Smotrich, would each win six; Nitzan Horowitz’s Meretz would hold five seats, and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu and Mansour Abbas’s Islamist Ra’am party would have four each.

The survey predicted that Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope would fail to clear the electoral threshold, after picking up just 2.6 percent of the vote. The right-wing coalition party composed mostly of former Likud members currently has six seats.

The survey result indicates the parties in the current diverse coalition led by Bennett and Lapid would have 56 seats — tied with the Netanyahu-led bloc, with both five seats short of forming a government. The Joint List would therefore be the kingmaker in such a scenario.

The poll comes ahead of the final votes on the state budget, expected later this week. If the budget is not approved, the government automatically dissolves.

Respondents in the poll were asked whether they would like to see the government continue. Just over half (51%) said yes, 40% said they want new elections, and 9% said they don’t know.

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett pictured after their new coalition wins Knesset approval, June 13, 2021. (Haim Zach / GPO)

Nearly two-thirds (62%) said Bennett should honor his premiership rotation agreement with Lapid and hand over the reins of power in the summer of 2023, as agreed. Another 23% backed breaking up the government at that point, and 15% said they don’t know.

Recent leaks quote Bennett and his inner circle estimating that the government could collapse before the rotation deal is honored.

Bennett and Lapid were neck and neck among the respondents, in terms of who was better suited to be leader (23% for Bennett, 22% for Lapid) when pitted against each other, though the same amount, 45%, said neither.

The poll also examined whether voters want the ultra-Orthodox parties, currently in the opposition, to join the government if the budget is passed. It found that 63% were opposed and 20% backed it. Among Shas and United Torah Judaism voters, however, nearly half (48%) supported the Haredi parties joining the government, while 34% were against it.

Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, seen with United Torah Judaism’s Yaakov Litzman at a ‘Sheva Brachot’ event for Deri’s daughter, soon after her marriage in Jerusalem, December 23, 2015. At right is Deri’s wife Yaffa; at left is former Shas MK Ariel Atias. (Yaacov Cohen/FLASH90)

The survey conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs had a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. The number of participants was not immediately clear.

The final votes on the budget are scheduled for Thursday, although the coalition has until November 14 to get the law through. The coalition has a razor-thin majority and the opposition of a single government lawmaker could theoretically torpedo it. The last time an Israeli government managed to pass a budget was in March 2018. Failure to approve the budget late last year was what brought down the previous government. Israel has had four election cycles since April 2019.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.