In the first polls taken since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared his intention to disband the Knesset in preparation for new elections, parties that would likely join a right-wing coaliton showed significant strength.
A poll released by Ha'aretz Thursday showed the Likud garnering 29 Knesset seats if the elections were held today, with Shas getting 10 seats. Yisrael Beiteinu would get 15, and the newly coalesced Bayit Yehudi-National Union parties would together receive 8 seats. In addition, United Torah Jewry would garnet 6 Knesset seats. A coalition consisting of those parties would be able to comfortably form a right-wing government, with 68 MKs, the poll showed. A poll by Ma'ariv showed similar results, with the Likud garnering 29 seats, but Yisrael Beiteinu reaching only 12.
One significant difference between the two polls involves the strength of Yair Lapid's new Yesh Atid (“There is a future”) party. The Ha'aretz poll shows Lapid getting 11 seats, while the Ma'ariv poll predicts he will get 17. In both polls, Labor, now led by Shelly Yechimovich, would receive only 16 seats, while Kadima, now led by Shaul Mofaz, would garner only 7 and 6 seats in the Ha'aretz and Ma'arvi polls respectively.
Political pundits predicted that Kadima's dismal showing would have a major impact on negotiations between the party and Lapid, if the two parties run on a single list, which some political commentators have said both sides are considering. In a separate question, the Ma'ariv poll showed that a Kadima led by former party heads Tzippy Livni and Ehud Olmert would receive ten seats, but that in that scenario, the strength of Lapid's party would be reduced.