Israel's Two Biggest Parties Going Strong but Neither Secure Majority, Election Poll Shows

Avigdor Lieberman still kingmaker in September 17 vote, according to survey released by Kan public broadcaster

Likud and Kahol Lavan campaign posters in Tel Aviv, April 1, 2019.
Tomer Appelbaum

Israel's two biggest parties – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and Kahol Lavan – are gaining more support from voters ahead of the September 17 election, a public opinion poll published Monday by Kan public broadcaster shows. 

However, the poll indicated that neither are projected to secure a majority coalition at this stage.

>> Read more: Labor’s Peretz sacrifices mustache to atone for sabotaging his own revolution | Opinion ■ Labor leader loses mustache, but election could cost him more | Analysis

The survey, conducted over the weekend and released just over three weeks before the election, predicts Likud would get 32 out of 120 Knesset seats, while Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan is projected 31 seats. 

This scenario anticipates two more seats for each party compared to Kan's previous election poll, which was published in early August.

The Joint List, composed of the four Arab-majority parties, maintains its standing in Kan's polls with 11 seats, potentially making it the third biggest party in Israel's parliament.

According to the poll, it would be followed by Yamina, a broad right-wing union led by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, with 10 seats – one down from the previous poll – and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu, which in early August was projected 11 seats and is now only expected to garner nine in the latest poll.

Ultra-Orthodox parties United Torah Judaism and Shas would also get seven seats each according to the poll, maintaining the same level of support.

Unlike Yamina and Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor-Gesher is seen gaining some support, taking it from six projected seats in the previous poll to seven in the current one.

The Democratic Union, led by Meretz's Nitzan Horowitz, former Labor lawmaker Stav Shaffir and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, is projected six seats, losing two from the previous poll.

Kan's poll, similarly to other public opinion polls released over the past weeks, shows the right-wing bloc, together with the ultra-Orthodox parties, would receive only 56 seats.The center-left bloc is projected 44 seats, or 55 together with the Joint List. Yisrael Beiteinu is seen maintaining the opportunity to deny Netanyahu the ability to form a coalition, as he did after April's election.

Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit and right-wing Zehut are not seen expected to pass the 3.25-percent electoral threshold according to this poll.