Yet another poll shows Meretz failing to enter Knesset, while Ra’am squeaks in

Yair Lapid strengthens to 20 seats, but no bloc has a clear path to 61 seats following the March 23 election

Head of the Meretz party Nitzan Horovitz in Tel Aviv on February February 19, 2020 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Head of the Meretz party Nitzan Horovitz in Tel Aviv on February February 19, 2020 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A new poll Thursday once again showed the left-wing Meretz party failing to pass the electoral threshold in the coming March 23 election, while it was not clear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could form a coalition.

The poll gave Netanyahu’s Likud 29 seats, the same number he has been hovering around in several recent surveys. Opposition leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid crept further upwards with 20.

They were followed by New Hope with 12; Yamina 11; Joint List 8; Shas 7; United Torah Judaism 7; Yisrael Beytenu 7; Labor 6; Blue and White 5; Religious Zionism 4; and Ra’am 4.

Meretz fell below the 3.25 percent threshold with 3% of votes.

Netanyahu and his religious allies had 47 secure seats in the poll. Meanwhile, Yamina and Ra’am, parties that have not ruled out backing Netanyahu but which haven’t pledged to do so, had 15 more. If they do back Netanyahu, that would clinch the premier a majority with 62 seats. But it would also force him to base his coalition on the support of a non-Zionist Arab party — a step over which he has repeatedly attacked his rivals for supposedly pursuing, and which likely would not sit well with some of his hard-right partners.

Meanwhile, the anti-Netanyahu camp had 58 seats. Assuming the Arab-majority Joint List stays out of any coalition, that the bloc’s constituent parties manage to paper over their major ideological differences and that Yamina joins in, it could form a coalition of 61.

Kan’s survey was conducted by Kantar among 802 Israelis over the age of 18. Its margin of error was not immediately available.

The survey agrees with previous polls that have generally predicted political deadlock after the election, with no party having a clear path to assembling a majority coalition.

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