Benjamin Netanyahu is on the path for a fifth term as prime minister, with his Likud being the biggest party and the right wing-haredi bloc holding a substantial lead over its rival. That is, if the election was held now, a Haaretz poll held Tuesday has found.
According to the poll, Likud is widening its margin over Kahol Lavan by three seats (30-27), with Netanyahu's bloc bolstered up to 67 seats. All right-wing parties cross the electoral threshold of 3.25 and will receive a minimum of five Knesset seats, including Moshe Feiglin's Zehut, which seemed to be soaring swiftly upward, according to the poll.
According to the poll, after Likud (30) and Kahol Lavan (27), Labor is projected to recieve 10 seats and the Union of Right Wing Parties and Hadash-Ta'al seven seats. United Torah Judiasm received six seats in the poll while Kulanu, Shas, Hayamin Hehadash, Meretz and Zehut were all predicted to receive five seats. Yisrael Beiteinu and United Arab List-Balad received four seats. Gesher is not predicted to pass the electoral threshold.
The center-left-Arab bloc (53 seats) presents a grim picture: Labor climbs up to ten seats at the expense of Kahol Lavan. This is the result of a growing sensation among the camp's voters that no real chance to replace Netanyahu exists, rendering a calculated vote useless.
If this indeed turns out to be the result, Netanyahu will find himself in an ideal, downright dreamy position: The fate of his coalition wouldn't be in the hands of a single party. His potential partners' leverage will be quite limited, as would their appetite.
But the 21st Knesset portrait won't correspond with the poll for several reasons. Some 16 seats define themselves as undecided; Certain parties might not manage to hurdle the four-seat threshold, which would tip the inter-bloc power balance. Past experience proves the last week, particularly the last three days including Election Day, events and processes could change opinion and voting patterns.
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The poll surveyed several other questions, including how set people were on their vote. The party whose voters were least assured of was Kulanu, with 22 percent absolutely sure they would vote for it. This is a red light for Moshe Kahlon. The parties found on the other end of the scale are Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism – 57 percent for the first two, and 88 percent for the haredi parties.
On the issue of the 16 undecided seats, pollsters asked respondents what would be the second party they would vote for, if they could. The Labor Party stood out, with 40 percent of its voters saying they consider migrating to Kahol Lavan, with nearly the same number contemplating the opposite. Hayamin Hehadash had 28 percent of its voters pick Likud as their second option.
The poll was conducted by the Dialog Company, overseen by Prof. Camil Fuchs from Tel Aviv University. It was conducted among 1001 Israelis; 700 Jewish citizens were polled online and 151 were polled by phone; 150 non-Jewish citizens were polled by phone. The margin of error is 3.3 percentage points.