Yuli Edelstein
Yuli EdelsteinFlash 90

After announcing that he will run for the Likud presidency, Yuli Edelstein responds to a News 12 poll that revealed that the Likud under his leadership receives 20 seats.

Edelstein told GaleiTzahal: "The results are preliminary and prove that everything I said is true - the Likud led by Netanyahu receives more seats and remains the opposition, and under my leadership receives fewer seats and can form a government."

"I promise that even if there are more candidates, I will continue with my method - I do not intend to throw dirt at anyone," MK Edelstein added.

MK Haim Katz, chairman of the Likud Center, cooled the enthusiasm of MK Yuli Edelstein last night, and clarified on GaleiTzahal: "There will be no Likud primaries before the dispersal of the Knesset."

According to MK Katz's announcement, the Likud primaries will only take place with the dissolution of the current Knesset - even if this only happens in a few years, including if the current government succeeds in passing a budget in the coming month, as planned.

A poll conducted by the Madgam Institute and published on Channel 12 News found that if the elections were held yesterday (Tuesday), the Likud would grow to 34 seats.

The Yesh Atid party would win 18 seats, the Shas faction nine, Blue and White eight, the Labor Party seven, and the United Torah Judaism and Yamina parties receive seven seats each.

The Religious Zionism party would win six seats, Yisrael Beyteinu five seats, Meretz five seats and the Ra'am and New Hope parties would receive four seats each.

The current coalition would fall to 58 seats, below the majority needed to form a government. The Netanyahu bloc would receive 56 seats, also too few seats to form a government.

If Yuli Edelstein replaces Benjamin Netanyahu as leader of the Likud, the political map changes drastically: Yesh Atid and Likud would tie at 20 seats each, the Religious Zionism party, Shas, and Blue and White would win 11 seats each. United Torah Judaism and Yamina would win eight seats each. Labor would win seven seats, the Joint Arab List six, Yisrael Beyteinu five, Meretz five, and the New Hope and Ra'am parties would receive four seats each.

Even in light of their flattering numbers, if Netanyahu wins the chairmanship of the opposition - he still does not have a coalition. The Likud, together with religious Zionism and the ultra-Orthodox parties, together reach only 56 seats.

On the other hand, despite the low number of seats in the Likud led by Edelstein, he could theoretically form a goverment. The Likud with 20 seats, religious Zionism with 11, Shas with 11 seats, Torah Judaism with 8, right with 8 and New Nope gets 4 seats - all together come to 62 seats.

When Likud voters were asked who they prefer to lead the party. Benjamin Netanyahu received the support of 86% of respondents, compared to just six percent for Edelstein.

On Tuesday, Edelstein announced that he would be running against opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for the Likud leadership, adding: "With him we will never win and we will not return to power. If we do not take a serious accountabilty, we will remain in the opposition for many years - and the accountability says that Benjamin Netanyahu should be replaced."

Netanyahu's supporters in the party said: "The Likud is a democratic party. Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected Likud leader by a huge majority of 72.5% just less than two years ago. Anyone interested in running for the leadership is welcome to do so in the primaries."