First Election Poll Favors Netanyahu, but Neither Bloc Gets Majority

Netanyahu vowed to form a 'stable national government,' but without a majority for his bloc, and his refusal to sit with the UAL, the title of prime minister might elude him

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Haaretz
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Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud party meeting on Monday.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud party meeting on Monday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
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Haaretz

An election survey released Tuesday shows that in an upcoming election opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his bloc would win 59 of the Knesset's 120, placing them shy of a majority but still eclipsing the dissolved governing coalition.

The parties that are part of Israel's now dissolved governing coalition would get 55 Knesset seats all together, the poll, published by Radio 103 FM, shows. If neither bloc receives a majority, the task of forming a coalition would be nearly impossible and would require forming a minority government that receives support from parties external to the coalition.

According to the new survey, Netanyahu's Likud would remain the largest party in the Knesset, with 36 Knesset seats. Yesh Atid, led by soon to be Prime Minister Yair Lapid, would win 20 seats, whereas Religious Zionism and Kahol Lavan would win 10 and 8 seats, respectively. If elections were held today, Meretz would fail to pass the election threshold.

Following Bennett and Lapid's announcement on Monday, Netanyahu vowed to establish "a broad, strong, and stable national government…that would bring back national pride."

In a jubilant video released on social media, Netanyahu said "It is clear to everyone that this government, the biggest failure in the history of Israel, is at the end of its road …" adding that he would not form a government with United Arab List chairman Mansour Abbas.

For his part, Abbas told Radio al-Shams on Tuesday he would not rule out sitting with Netanyahu but that under no circumstances would he take part in a government alongside Religious Zionism's Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who hold "a fascist and racist view of the world."

"We've only just begun," Abbas said in an interview with Channel 12 News, "We also want partners and influence in the next coalition. Whoever wants to join this new approach of the United Arab List is welcome, and whoever wants to play a game of chairs – we're not with you. The Arab public wants influence." Just two weeks, the the UAL was slated not to cross the electoral threshold in the upcoming elections.

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