United 'Right' Bloc Will Benefit Yisrael Beytenu and Shas

Latest poll shows Likud and Jewish Home will gain 37 seats if they run together, less total than if they were to run separately.

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Cynthia Blank,

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A joint list of Likud and Jewish Home would win 37 seats, a TNS poll for Walla! News conducted Tuesday determined. 

The survey, which used a representative sample of 500 respondents aged 18 and over, featured two scenarios: the first if Jewish Home and Likud were to run together for March elections for the 20th Knesset, and the second if not. 

According to the poll, the two parties would receive more mandates separately - 24 for Likud and 16 for Jewish Home - but fear of Labor-Hatnua's strength could still push the parties together. 

Although a joint list seems unlikely, there are Likud officials pushing for such an union in order to prevent a government led by Labor joint heads Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni - a coalition they fear current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may join. 

A union between Jewish Home and Likud would also be beneficial to Shas and Yisrael Beytenu. 

As the parties stand now Avigdor Liberman's party would win six seats. However, if Likud were to join with Jewish Home, that number bumps up to 8. 

Similarly, Aryeh Deri's Shas party would see a jump from 8, if Likud and Jewish Home ran separately, to 9 if they ran together - the best poll figure Shas has seen in months. 

Interestingly, numbers remain the same for the Center and Left parties no matter if Likud and Jewish Home run together or not. 

Labor-Hatnua maintains 25 seats - one less than in Walla! News' previous survey. That mandate seems to have moved to Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, which came in with nine seats. 

Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party remained stable with eight seats, as did Meretz with 5. The figure is a slight disappointment for Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, who expected a rise in the polls after her party's primaries on Monday. 

Additionally, Eli Yishai's hareidi alternative Yachad - Ha'am Itanu did not pass the threshold. 

Final decisions of party lists are due before the Central Election Committee in 10 days. 

Political considerations

Respondents were also questioned about the Israeli Air Force's attack on Hezbollah in Syria earlier this week. 

A clear majority of respondents, 63.5%, believed the attack was carried out for relevant security reasons. About 23.4% of respondents argued that the decision to attack had been politically motivated, while 13% answered they did not know. 

Even among voters of different parties, most believed the attacks had been carried out out of a security necessity. 

However, among the respondents who stated they would vote for Labor-Hatnua, a higher rate, 38.5%, said that the attack had been based on political considerations. 

Ya'alon supported as Defense Minister

The survey also examined public opinion regarding the right candidate for the role of Defense Minister in the next Knesset. 

Current Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) received a majority of the vote with 36.2% support. In second place - with a wide margin - is Major General Amos Yadlin at 15.1%. Yadlin just joined Labor-Hatnua with the intention of becoming Minister of Defense in their government. 

Behind them were Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett at 12.1% and Major General Yoav Galant with 11% support. 

When looking at votes from different parties, an interesting picture emerges. While 63.3% of Likud voters prefer to see Ya'alon continue as Defense Minister, 51.4% of Labor-Hatnua voters prefer Yadlin. 

Opinions are noticeably divided in Jewish Home, where 37.1% of voters say that despite serious difference of opinion during Operation Protective Edge, Ya'alon should continue as Defense Minister. However, 40.7% of Jewish Home voters say he should be replaced with Bennett. 








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