There are about three weeks remaining until the parties wishing to participate in the upcoming Knesset election register their lists with the Central Election Committee. According to a poll taken by the Kantor Institute and released by KAN11 News on Tuesday evening, it appears that Likud has dropped to 30 seats, as is the case with the Blue and White party.
Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party earns 9 seats, and it does appear that once again, it is Lieberman who will decide the character of the next coalition government. This was the case in the last Knesset, and when agreement could not be reached between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Lieberman, the prime minister dissolved the Knesset and forced new elections.
Following are the results of the poll:
Blue and White 30
Arab parties 9
Yahadut Hatorah 8
Democratic Israel (Ehud Barak) 5
New Right (Naftali Bennet) 5
The right-wing/chareidi bloc has 54 seats and the left-wing/Arab bloc 57.
If the Arab parties decide to recommend that Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz receive the presidential mandate to form a coalition, he will have 57 people behind him including 48 among the left-wing and nine votes from the Arab parties. However, it is not sufficient.
If Netanyahu has 54 people recommending that he form the coalition, including Likud, Yahadut Hatorah, Shas, New Right and the URWP, he too lacks a sufficient number of backers to obtain a majority.
The bottom line – the results of the poll should have the leaders of both camps concerned, as neither can form a government. However, once again, Avigdor Lieberman may find himself in a pivotal position in coalition talks.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)