A poll published Friday finds that if elections were held today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would be the largest in the Knesset, but would lose two of the 27 seats it currently has.
The poll, conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach of the Dahaf Institute and published in the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot, found that Likud would win 25 seats. The second largest party would be the Labor party, the poll found, with 21 seats. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party would receive 13 seats, as would Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
The Shas party would win ten seats, found the poll, while Kadima, currently the Knesset’s largest party with 28 seats, would win only seven seats. Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence party, which earlier polls predicted would not pass the threshold, receives two seats.
The poll was taken after Kadima left the coalition this week, because of what chairman Shaul Mofaz said was Netanyahu’s failure to live up a supposed agreement on changes in the draft law.
Kadima’s leaving the government has fueled speculation that early elections may be held. Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich called for a prompt election this week because of Netanyahu’s failure to pass an alternative to the Tal Law, which expires on August 1.
Netanyahu’s aides estimated this week that the current Knesset session will conclude as scheduled, but the Knesset will be dissolved at the start of the next session and early elections will be held in February at the latest.
MK Nachman Shai of Kadima said this week that he believes the faction will split in two, leaving part of the party in the coalition and part in the opposition.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)