Clearly elections in Israel have less to do with ideology than with a party’s ability to form a coalition government. At the very least, a coalition requires a simple majority in Knesset of 61. A component of the election process is shuffling the cards to determine the different coalition possibilities.
According to a Walla News report, two internal polls carried out by the right-wing reveal that if the Tekuma faction of Bayit Yehudi runs independently with MKs who broke away from Shas, they would receive seven seats.
A Rafi Smith poll conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach shows (prior to the alignment between Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni) that Likud receives 20 seats, Bayit Yehudi 17 and Shas led by Aryeh Deri 9.
The poll then address a split involving the Tekuma faction headed by Uri Ariel joining forces with disenchanted Shas MKs headed by Eli Yishai. Such a party would receive seven seats according to both polls.
This would result in Bayit Yehudi losing three seats, now at 14 and Shas losing two seats, not at 7. Two additional seats would come from Likud and the Kulanu party headed by Moshe Kahlon.
One should be aware that talks to sign an alignment to keep the Tekuma faction in Bayit Yehudi seem to be stalled.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)