New poll shows Likud down, Ichud Leumi up
New poll shows Likud down, Ichud Leumi upIsrael News Photo

A new poll released Tuesday points to a near-disaster for the Likud, headed by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and a surge in popularity for Ichud Leumi (National Union), headed by Yaakov 'Ketzaleh' Katz as well as the Meretz party.

The results also reflect the pollsters' dilemma of how to deal with an estimated 20 percent of voters who remain undecided, a factor which has complicated their work and may be the reason behind vastly different rankings.

The results of the survey, which was carried out by the Geocartograpic Institute in conjunction with Globes, are as follows:

Likud, 24-25

Kadima, 21

Labor, 17

Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu), 17

Shas, 11

Meretz, 8

Ichud Leumi, 6

Arab Parties, 6

United Torah Judaism, 6

The survey is also bad news for the Jewish Home party, billed as the new National Religious (Mafdal) faction, projecting that it will not win the number of votes needed to enter the Knesset, a result that would cancel its vote-sharing agreement with Ichud Leumi.

Other results from the poll award Yahadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism-UTJ) six seats, and two Arab parties with three mandates each; one Arab party would not make it into the Knesset at all. The Greens and the Pensioners are bordering the amount of votes necessary to earn Knesset representation, according to the poll.

Ichud Leumi and Yisrael Beiteinu's gains apparently have come at the expense of the Likud. If election results were to reflect the poll, Netanyahu would be heavily dependent on Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas to form a coalition, which would still would leave him with up to nine MKs less than the 61 he would need to form a coalition. In that case, he would need to include both UTJ and Ichud Leumi.

The results squeeze his options for a coalition with Labor, which almost certainly would not accept Yisrael Beiteinu as a coalition partner.