Poll Confirms: Leftist Bloc Could Edge Out Likud

New poll confirms that Hatnua-Labor pact could give it the most seats in the Knesset; drop in votes for Yisrael Beytenu.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin ,

Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni
Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

A pact between Yitzhak Herzog's Labor party and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni's Hatnua could see it win the most seats in the 20th Knesset, according to a Panels Politics poll released Monday. 

According to the poll, which surveyed some 500 respondents, the Labor-Hatnua pact would win 23 Knesset seats, edging out Likud's 21. Jewish Home would come third with 18 seat, while all of the "centrist" parties - including Moshe Kahlon's new party, Avigdor Liberman's shifting Yisrael Beytenu, and Yesh Atid - would gain nine seats each. United Torah Judaism would win eight seats, Shas would win seven, Meretz would win six and the Arab parties (United Arab List, Balad, and Hadash) would win 10 seats altogether. 

However, in the event Hatnua and Labor do not run on a joint list, Labor would gain just 17 seats - while Livni's Hatnua would not pass the Knesset threshold of 3.5%. 

Despite the slight edge the pact could have over Likud, a full 26% of respondents would choose Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu again for a fourth term. 15% said they would choose Herzog and 11% would choose Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett. 

The results bear striking similarities to a poll last week by the Rafi Smith Institute for Globes, which projected that the leftist pact would gain 24 seats in the Knesset, also edging out Likud's 22 seats. 

Overall, the poll projected a slight drop in seats for the leftist pact and Likud, a slight gain for Jewish Home, and a massive drop in support for Yisrael Beytenu, who had originally been projected to receive 16 seats. 

Interestingly, the poll does not address rumors of a joint list between Yisrael Beytenu, Moshe Kahlon's party, and Yesh Atid - who, if running together, would come out on top with 27 votes, as the three each have 9 seats in this poll. 



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