In just 19 days, Israelis will once again head to the polls for the country’s fourth general election in three years. One of the hot topics approaching the election is the recent ruling by the High Court regarding conversions.
While the polls predict that the two largest parties, Likud and Yesh Atid remain fairly stable in terms of projected outcome, some of the mid-range parties continue to fluctuate with regard to their positioning and the number of mandates that they will obtain when March 23rd, rolls around.
The most recent poll was conducted on Thursday by Direct Polls and predicted that the Likud will win a total of 29 Knesset seats, down from their previous position of 31 seats that was predicted by Direct Polls in February.
Yesh Atid stayed stable with a projected 18 seats. The real drama took place among the parties below the two leaders, Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party. Whereas Yamina rose from 11 to 13 seats, the New Hope party plummeted from 14 to 11, leaving Yamina to be projected as the third-largest party should the elections have happened today. It appears, that this change is due, in part, to the High Court’s ruling and a segment f the populace pulling back to support Yamina, following Ayelet Shaked’s work in the Justice Ministry prior to 2018.
Avigdor Lieberman’s party of Yisrael Beiteinu saw a dramatic rise following the High Court’s ruling, and for the first time surpassed 7 mandates and rose to 9.
The Charedi block of UTJ and Shas still hold their 15 projected seats according to the poll. The Arab Joint List party fell to 8 seats, and the remainder of the Knesset was filled out by parties expected to take a smaller portion of the seats in Labor with 6, Blue and White with 6, and the Religious Zionist party with 5.
Once again, Meretz and Ra’am both failed to pass the electoral threshold.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)