A poll published on Wednesday showed worrying news for the right-wing bloc in the wake of Itamar Ben-Gvir’s decision to run separately from Betzalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party.
According to the survey, published by Channel 12 News, if the two parties run separately, Otzma Yehudit would soar to nine seats but the Religious Zionism party and Ayelet Shaked’s Zionist Spirit party would fail to pass the electoral threshold, with the Religious Zionism party receiving 2.8% of votes and the Zionist Spirit only receiving 1.8%.
If Smotrich fails to pass the threshold, the Netanyahu bloc drops to 58 seats.
The poll also shows that a combined slate of Otzma Yehudit and the Religious Zionism party would gain ten seats, a loss of two seats from their separate runs if Smotrich does pass the electoral threshold.
The poll shows the far-left Meretz party gaining six mandates under its newly elected chairperson Zehava Galon. The Likud and Yesh Atid parties remained the same as previous polls, 34 and 23 respectively, but the National Unity party of Gantz-Sa’ar-Eisenkot is shown to not only fail to gain any seats after merging with former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot but even loses a mandate, dropping to 13.
Shas remains with eight mandates and UTJ with seven. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, the Labor party, and the Arab Joint List and Ra’am parties are predicted to each receive five mandates.
Another poll published by Kan News shows Smotrich barely passing the threshold and Otzma Yehudit receiving eight seats. A third poll published by Channel 13 News shows Smotrich winning seven seats and Otzma Yehudit receiving nine seats at the expense of the Meretz and Ra’am parties, which each gains only four seats.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)