Yishai Break Splits Shas Electorate Power in Half

Poll shows Yishai's new Yachad party gets four seats, leaves Shas with four, amid speculation of Yachad union with nationalist parties.

Hezki Baruch, Ari Yashar ,

Eli Yishai
Eli Yishai
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

After former Shas chairperson Eli Yishai split with the hareidi party over steep demands by chairperson Aryeh Deri and launched his own Yachad party on Monday, a new poll on Tuesday shows Yachad and Shas stand even at four mandates apiece. Shas currently has 11 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.

The poll, conducted by Panels Politics for the Knesset Channel, shows Likud and Labor which recently joined with Hatnua neck and neck at 22 mandates each. Coming in third would be Jewish Home at 15 mandates - it remains to be seen precisely how a possible Tekuma faction break from the party would affect the results.

Three parties tie for fourth largest, with Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and the three Arab parties all together each getting ten seats.

Yisrael Beytenu comes next with nine seats, and hareidi United Torah Judaism would get seven seats as would the far-left Meretz party.

As noted, a particularly interesting development indicated by the survey is that Yishai's new Yachad party would get four seats, matching Shas.

There has also been speculation over the past several days as to whether Yishai might be considering a joint list with Uri Ariel's National Union party - currently a faction within the Jewish Home party - due to tensions between Ariel and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett. Neither side has officially commented on the issue, however.

It has also been suggested the two could join forces with the Otzma Yehudit party to create a nationalist religious bloc that would be a force to be reckoned with in the Knesset. Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir of Otzma Yehudit told Arutz Sheva on Monday that for now talk of such a union is simply rumors and there have been no talks yet, but said his party would be open to cooperation.



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