Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu would not be able to secure the Knesset majority needed to form a coalition if Israel were to hold elections now, three new polls show.
A Kan Public Broadcaster poll gives Netanyahu's right-wing bloc 60 Knesset seats, while polls from channels 12 and 13 give it 59 seats – short of the minimum of 61 seats Netanyahu would need to form a government. The polls also show that Yesh Atid would gain several seats over its current 17.
On Monday, the opposition leader pledged to establish "a broad, strong, and stable national government…that would bring back national pride" following the decision to vote to dissolve the Knesset and return to the polls.
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 … a government dependent on supporters of terror, that neglected the personal security of citizens of Israel, and that raised the cost of living to new heights."
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According to the Channel 12 poll, the Likud party would garner 35 seats, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid 20, Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan nine, the far-right Religious Zionism nine, the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party Shas eight and the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism seven.
The Israel Labor Party would garner six; while five seats each would go to Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu and the Arab Joint List. Four seats would go to left-wing Meretz, Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope, the Islamist party United Arab List and Naftali Bennett's Yamina.
Channel 13's poll gives 35 seats to Likud, 22 to Yesh Atid, nine to Religious Zionism, eight to Shas, seven to United Torah Judaism, seven to Kahol Lavan, six to the Joint List, five to Labor and Yisrael Beiteinu and four to Yamina, New Hope, Meretz and the United Arab List. That poll was conducted along with Professor Camil Fuchs and surveyed 701 people, of whom 600 are Jewish.
Kan's poll, which was an online survey of 550 people, gives Likud 36 seats, Yesh Atid 21, Kahol Lavan and Religious Zionism nine, Shas eight, United Torah Judaism seven, the Joint List and Labor six, Yamina and Yisrael Beiteinu five, and four to New Hope, and the United Arab List. In that poll, Meretz does not cross the electoral threshold.
These polls show Likud garnering a larger showing than it had in the previous election – in which it took 29 seats – but still failing to secure a majority. In the current Knesset, Yesh Atid has 17 seats; Shas nine; Kahol Lavan eight; United Torah Judaism, Religious Zionism, Yisrael Beiteinu and Labor seven and the Joint List, Meretz, New Hope and Yamina six. The United Arab List has four seats, and Amichai Chikli is currently independent.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced they would move to dissolve their fledgling ruling coalition, a little over a year after it was formed. On Wednesday, the Knesset will vote on the legislation to dissolve the parliament, which will require additional readings. However, the coalition's goal is to see the law passed by the middle of next week, and thus prevent an alternative government led by Netanyahu from forming before Israelis can vote.