In First for Election Polls, Kahanist Party Makes It Into Knesset

Far-right Otzma Yehudit predicted to get four seats – but Kahol Lavan is seen gaining support and right-wing bloc still falls short of majority without Lieberman

Itamar Ben-Gvir at a press conference in Jerusalem, August 26, 2019.
Emil Salman

The far-right, Kahanist Otzma Hayehudit party is poised to pass the election threshold and enter the Knesset, two election polls released Tuesday – a week before the vote – show for the first time. (For the latest election polls - click here)

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While this gives the right-wing bloc led by Likud an edge over the center-left bloc led by Kahol Lavan, the polls show neither bloc able to reach the 61 seats required for a coalition without the support of Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu. It was Yisrael Beiteinu's refusal to endorse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after April's election that led to his failure to build a coalition, leading to the calling of a new election.

Both polls – released by Channel 12 and Channel 13 – also show Kahol Lavan passing Likud to be the largest party in the Knesset with 32 seats to Likud's 31.

The Channel 12 poll put the remaining parties in this order: the right-wing Yamina, led by Ayelet Shaked, with nine seats; Yisrael Beiteinu with nine; the Joint List alliance of Arab parties with nine; the ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism with seven each; the Democratic Union with six; Labor-Gesher with six; and Otzma Yehudit with four.

The Channel 13 poll had the parties trailing Kahol Lavan and Likud in this order: the Joint List with 11 seats; Yamina with nine; Yisrael Beiteinu with nine; United Torah Judaism with seven; Shas with six; the Democratic Union with six; Labor-Gesher with five; and Otzma Yehudit with four.

The Channel 12 poll used a sample of 503 respondents and had a margin of error of up to 4.4 percent.

The Channel 13 poll had 831 respondents, with a margin of error of up to 3.9 percent.