Poll Gives Religious Zionists 9 Knesset Seats

Kadima is down to a meager 4 seats, while journalist Lapid's party is at 11.

Gil Ronen ,

Ketzaleh (left) and Naftali Bennett
Ketzaleh (left) and Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

According to a poll sponsored by financial newspaper Globes, the two religious Zionist parties would garner nine Knesset seats between them, if elections were held today.

According to the poll, conducted by Rafi Smith, the Jewish Home would receive 5 seats, up from today's 3, and the National Union (NU) would remain at 4 seats.

Likud would get 28 seats – one up from its present total. Labor would get 19, compared to the 13 it received in the last elections, five of which have since gone with Ehud Barak to form the Independence party. Barak's party itself would receive only 2 seats.

Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu would receive 16 seats, up from today's 15. Kadima would crash from 28 to just 4, and journalist Yair Lapid's new party is expected to get 11 seats.

NU leader MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) said that the poll showed that the primaries held by the Jewish Home did not change religious voters' voting patterns, noting that the Jewish Home had received the same number of projected seats in a poll several months ago.

Ketzaleh repeated his long-held conviction that a joint party combining the NU and Jewish Home lists would receive 12 to 15 seats. He praised Jewish Home leadership contender Naftali Bennett for working toward such a unity move.

Bennett's camp issued a statement saying that, "There is no doubt that the public has a strong sense that something new is beginning in the Jewish Home party, and that it is possible to go from the great political collapse to new leadership and a political force that will make a difference."

Jewish Home candidate Jeremy Gimpel, who has also been a loud proponent of unity, stated: "We have met with all three candidates and have written documents where they have all committed to run as a united block with the National Union. The only way for our movement to impact Israel and lead true Jewish Zionist initiatives is to function as an ideological united block with common values and a unified vision." 

Another poll, held several weeks ago by Mina Tzemach and Yediot Aharonot, gave NU six seats and the Jewish Home four.