Likud Maintains Strength in Channel 2 Poll
As Tuesday approaches and with it election day, Israeli media outlets are bombarding voters with election polls.
Israeli law forbids media outlets to publish polls in the last days before the elections, so a surge in polls was seen on Thursday, with at least three new ones being published. The absolute final polls allowed by law will be made available on Friday.
The latest poll on Thursday night, published on the Mishal Cham program on Channel 2, finds that the trends in recent polls are being maintained, meaning that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is safe in the Prime Minister’s seat.
If the elections were held today, found the poll, the Likud Beytenu would win 35 seats, and will be followed by Labor with 16 seats and Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) with 14.
According to the poll, Shas and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (Future) would each receive 11 seats, while Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua continues its downfall and receives only six seats. Otzma LeYisrael passes the electroal threshold in this poll, winning two seats and keeping MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari in the Knesset.
A Maariv poll published earlier on Thursday found that right wing parties will sweep the elections, garnering 72 seats.
The Likud/Yisrael Beytenu joint list is likely to get 37 seats, according to the poll. Support for Bayit Yehudi remains stable, and it is set to receive 14 seats. Shas is back up to 12 seats in the Maariv poll, while United Torah Judaism is polling at 6 seats. Otzma LeYisrael received two seats in this poll as well.
The Maariv poll found that the left has weakened considerably since previous polls. Labor has weakened slightly and can expect 15 seats, just one more than Bayit Yehudi. Yesh Atid is polling at eight seats in this poll, while Hatnua is down to five. Meretz, meanwhile, strengthened significantly, and is polling at seven seats, while Kadima, it appears, will get into the Knesset, with three seats.
The Likud Beytenu has remained mostly stable in all polls, with the lowest number of seats being 32, according to a Channel 10 poll published Wednesday.
That poll found that the second largest party is Labor with 16. Bayit Yehudi trails Labor by only two seats, with 14. Shas and Yesh Atid receive 11 seats each, Tzipi Livni receives nine and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) receives six, as does Meretz.
Kadima and Otzma LeYisrael receive two seats each.
If actual results are similar to this poll, Likud will just barely be able to scrape together an unstable 62-seat coalition with both Shas and Yesh Atid inside it, as well as UTJ and Kadima. Otherwise, it appears Bayit Yehudi will be inside the coalition.
The United States is reportedly concerned over the strengthening of the Bayit Yehudi, headed by Naftali Bennett.
Reports this week indicated that the U.S. is concerned that Bennett's strengthening will cause Netanyahu, in turn, to strengthen the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
A senior Likud official told Arutz Sheva this week that Netanyahu has indicated in private conversations he would prefer to form a coalition Lapid and Livni and that he "fears a strong Bennett", because his party will make it difficult for him to make diplomatic moves. This, however, is possibly a planted rumor, say other Likud sources, which, perversely, gives Bennett more support as most Israelis, polls show, do not want Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority.