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Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Netanyahu would not be able to form a government
Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Poll shows Netanyahu would lose if elections held today
Political survey held this week finds Likud would lose 5 Knesset seats, or 9 if Kahlon and Sa'ar join forces; Lapid, Lieberman and Bennett stand are growing stronger, while Herzog is losing support.

If elections were held today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not have been able to form a government, as his current coalition will drop from 61 Knesset seats to only 57, a poll held this week by Dr. Mina Tzemach and Mano Geva of the Midgam Institute for Yedioth Ahronoth shows.

 

 

The poll found that Netanyahu's Likud party would only get 25 seats, a drop of five seats from the March 2015 elections. Nafatli Bennett's Bayit Yehudi would rise to 12 seats, compared to the eight it currently has, United Torah Judaism would rise from six to seven, Shas would drop from seven to six, and Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu would lose three seats from the 10 it currently has, putting it at seven.

 

Netanyahu would lose 1/6th of his power if elections were held today (Photo: Knesset Spokesman)
Netanyahu would lose 1/6th of his power if elections were held today (Photo: Knesset Spokesman)
 

This is the best case scenario. Netanyahu's situation will be worse off if former Likud minister Gideon Sa'ar decides to return to politics and join forces with Moshe Kahlon - also a former Likudnik. Kahlon said just a week ago that he would love to cooperate with Sa'ar.

 

If the two do join forces, their party would win 12 seats, while the Likud party will lose nine of its current seats, bringing it to a low of 21.

 

Joining forces would give Kahlon, left, and Sa'ar, right, 12 seats.
Joining forces would give Kahlon, left, and Sa'ar, right, 12 seats.

 

But the one who would most benefit from going to elections now is Yair Lapid. His party, Yesh Atid, would jump from 11 seats to 18 - almost the amount of MKs it had in the previous Knesset, when the new party had 19 seats.

 

The 2015 elections were a turning point for Lapid, perhaps even a low point. He realized he needs to appeal to new audiences - both on the right and among the religious. While the Knesset accused him of cynicism and the media mocked him, the poll shows Lapid did something right. With limited media presence, the former journalist manages to almost double his power. It is safe to say that at least at this point, the public once again views him as an alternative to the ruling party.

 

Lapid stands most to gain from early elections (Photo: Knesset Spokesman)
Lapid stands most to gain from early elections (Photo: Knesset Spokesman)

 

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, meanwhile, saw an opposite trend. His Zionist Union party drops in the poll from the 24 seats it currently has to 18. With such a decline, it's doubtful the public views him an alternative the way it does Lapid.

 

It would be interesting to see what the poll results do to the internal arguments within the party on whether to allow Herzog to postpone the primaries for the party's leadership.

 

Herzog stands most to lose from early elections (Photo: Ralph Alawang)
Herzog stands most to lose from early elections (Photo: Ralph Alawang)

 

Avigdor Lieberman, whose party Yisrael Beytenu suffered a blow in the last elections, dropping from 11 seats to only six and nearly not making it past the threshold, also grew stronger in this poll, receiving eight seats.

 

Lieberman, the new 'Mr. Security' (Photo: Herzl Yosef) (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
Lieberman, the new 'Mr. Security' (Photo: Herzl Yosef)

 

This positive trend can likely be credited to the deteriorating security situation. Different polls conducted since the start of the current wave of violence showed Lieberman take Netanyahu's place as "Mr. Security," while the prime minister is viewed as unable to provide a proper response to the terror attacks.

 

Another surprise in this poll is Naftali Bennett's Bayit Yehudi party. One would expect the Yinon Magal affair, that saw the former MK hit with allegations of sexual harassment, would weaken the party. But the poll shows it growing stronger and receiving 12 seats - four more than what it currently has.

 

Bennett only growing stronger, despite Yinon Magal affair (Photo: Motti Milrod)
Bennett only growing stronger, despite Yinon Magal affair (Photo: Motti Milrod)

 

A possible explanation for that is the fact that many voters that abandoned Bayit Yehudi on the eve of the last elections and voted for the Likud party in order to strengthen Netanyahu - are now returning home.

 


פרסום ראשון: 01.01.16, 13:03
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