The Likud is way head of the pack in the first pre-election poll, carried out for the Knesset, while Ehud Barak is behind the “eight ball,” without enough votes to win Knesset representation.
The figures are bound to change by the time of the elections, which have not yet been scheduled but are expected to come in September or October, but the results of the survey by the Dahaf polling firm follow the trend of the past several months.
Likud, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would received 31 seats if elections were held today, four more than now, and would form the next coalition government
As in previous polls, Kadima would collapse, from its current 28 seats to 10.
The Dahaf poll gives Labor, headed by Knesset Member Shelly Yechimovich, 17 seats, followed by Yisrael Beiteinu with 13 seats, two less than now. Labor had 13 seats in the current Knesset until Barak pulled out last year, bringing with him four other Knesset Members and leaving Labor with 8 MKs.
Yair Lapid’s new Future party would be the fourth largest, according to the Dahaf poll, with 12 seats.
Shas would drop from 11 Knesset Members to eight, but pre-election polls usually underestimate its strength.
United Torah Judaism would remain with six MKs, and Meretz would gain one and win four seats. The National Union party is projected to retain four MKs while the Jewish Home party would drop one seat to the required minimum of two.
The three predominantly Arab parties would gain one MK, reaching 11.
If the numbers do not change dramatically the big question is whether a national-religious coalition can accommodate Yisrael Beiteinu, which is campaigning against army deferments for the hareidi religious community.
However, the likelihood of a coalition without nationalist and religious parties is reduced by the presence of Yisrael Beiteinu, whose nationalist views are not accepted by Labor and Kadima.