With just one week to go until Israelis decide who will sit in the 22nd Knesset, some interesting turns have taken shape according to the recent voter polls. Unexpectedly, there is still no clear majority for either Likud or Blue and White. While Blue and White is currently expected to be the largst party, with 32 seats, they will have the smaller group of political partners in the Knesset with the left-wing-Arab factions totaling just 53 seats.
The Likud, however, is polling at receiving 31 seats and would have enough right-wing and Charedi coalition members to bring about a coalition of 58. Neither one attains the necessary majority of 61 seats to form a government. Not included in either of those is Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party that is currently polling at getting 9 seats and hence will be the party that may weigh in most heavily with regards to whom they will sit with in the government.
Lieberman has previously stated that he is interested in seeing a unity goverment of Blue and White and Likud come together without numerous smaller parties such as the Charedim and Otzma Yehudit who is, according to the most recent polls, expected to pass the electoral threshold and garner 4 seats.
Midgam carried out one of the polls that was published on channel 12 news. According to that poll the parties would rank thus. Blue and White would have 32 seats, Likud would have 21. United Arab list would have 9 as would Yamina and Yisrael Beiteinu. Both UTJ and Shas would get 7 and the Democratic Camp would garer 6 as would Labor-Gesher party. Otzma would be bringing u the rear with four seats.
Channel 13 published a pll that was conducted by Professor Camile Fuchs that ranked the parties in a very similar fashion. Blue and white with 32, Likud with 31, United Arab List with 11 Yamina and Yisrael Beiteinu with 9 each, UTJ with 7, Shas with 6, The Democratic Camp with 6 and Labor-Gesher would have 5. Otzma passed the threshold in this poll as well and ranked with 4 seats.
It is important to point out that the polls in the previous election were quite incorrect with regards to the seat allocation for the Charedi parties as well as for the Zehut party and the New Right part. With regards to Zehut and the New Right polls had claimed they would garner between 5-9 each but both came away with none as they did not pass the threshold.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)