Likud Rises as Leftists Vow No Coalition
The Likud Beytenu party regained its losses this week, ending with enough support to win 36 Knesset seats, according to a new poll released Friday by Maariv/nrg.
The Labor party regained losses as well, moving up to a solid second place with 18 seats. Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) remained in third place with 13, and Shas in fourth with 11.
Likud Beytenu’s uptick in support came as left-wing party heads threatened to make it difficult for the party to create a coalition. Labor head Shelly Yechimovich announced Thursday that she would not join a coalition led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“Under my leadership, the Labor party will either lead the government, or sit in the Opposition – there is no other option,” she said at a press conference.
Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid issued a similar proclamation, saying on his Facebook page, “For everyone who asked – of course we won’t sit as a fifth wheel in a government with Shas and the extreme right. Do you think I’m crazy?”
However, Lapid did not rule out sitting in a “moderate, centrist government,” led by Likud.