In light of speculations that the general election will be pushed up, a poll predicted on Monday that if the ballots were cast today, the Likud Party – headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – would garner more power than it has in the current Knesset.
According the poll, conducted by Yedioth Arhonot and the Dahaf Institute, Likud would win 30 mandates – compared to the 27 it currently holds. Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would win 10 Knesset seats. Yair Lapid's new Yesh Atid Party (Future), would get 11 seats as well, while Labor would win 18. However, if the former journalist joins forces with Tzipi Livni, their party would win as many as 18 mandates – stealing four seats from Labor.
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The poll underlines the dilemma faced by the ultra-religious party Shas; if the party's former leader, Aryeh Deri, decided to run independently, he would win three mandates, while Shas would win seven. If Deri headed the party again, it would preserve its current 11 seats.
As per the poll, the latter option would be preferable for Netanyahu; without Deri at the helm of Shas, the right-wing bloc would get a total of 61 mandates, while the left-wing bloc would get 56. But considering the fact that neither of the left-leaning centrist party heads – including Mofaz, Lapid and Labor's Shelly Yachimovich – haven't expressed objection to joining Netanyahu's Coalition, anything can happen.
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