Likud, Jewish Home to Gain 37 Seats in Joint List

Joint list would mean an elections sweep for the Right, survey reveals; women's representation does not matter, according to poll.

Tova Dvorin ,

Naftali Bennett's party is polling strongly among younger voters too
Naftali Bennett's party is polling strongly among younger voters too
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Likud and Jewish Home joint list would sweep the 20th Knesset, according to the latest elections poll - providing 37 seats for the two parties and near-guaranteeing a right-wing coalition. 

The total number of seats is the same as the list if the two were to run separately: 20 seats are predicted for Likud and 17 for Jewish Home, according to the poll, run by Midgam for Channel 10.

However, the 37 seats would defeat front-runner Labor - currently poised to just inch past Likud at 24-25 mandates - by a landslide, and could see an easy right-wing coalition. Labor faces its own possible coalition-building crisis in light of multiple clashes between differing parties, including the hareidi parties' unwillingness to sit in a government with Yesh Atid over Conversion Law issues and Yisrael Beytenu's refusal to sit in a coalition with natural Labor partner Meretz. 

The poll also addressed several issues little-explored so far in the elections process, including whether the representation of women affected voters' decision-making and whether the primaries had shifted public opinion.

The primaries overall had very little affect on voters who support Labor and Jewish Home; 62% of Labor supporters and 67% of Jewish Home supporters said that the primaries did not affect their choice. 

22% of Labor voters said that the selected list had increased their chances of voting for the party in the general elections, whereas 16% stated it had discouraged them. 19% of Jewish Home voters, along the same lines, said they are less likely to vote for Jewish Home post-primaries whereas 14% are more likely to do so. 

Does women's representation matter?

Meanwhile, 66% of the public says the presence or absence of women on a party list does not affect their decision, whereas 27% says it increases their chances of voting for a particular party and 7% said it decreases it. 

This poll question emerges amid controversy over the hareidi parties' refusal to allow women to run for office and a viral campaign for hareidi women to boycott the elections until the discriminatory policies are retracted. 

In light of the controversy and against the backdrop of the poll, Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Merav Michaeli debated the issue in the Channel 10 studio, where Regev argued that the issue of women's representation should not influence voters. The debate eventually erupted into a general political argument. 

"I would like to see more women [in office], but the choice should not be 'women or no women,' but what these women did for Israeli society," Regev stated.

"I understand Miri's plight, to see herself as the only woman in Likud's top ten [candidates]," Michaeli responded. "In Labor we have had female representation for years." 

"Netanyahu was prime minister 6 years, and has put the country in terrible shape - politically, security-wise, and economically," she continued. "Every citizen knows what the economic situation is like. If Netanyahu, who according to his own campaign, cannot run a government [which was like a] kindergarten, or to have neat and tidy party primaries; the writing is on the wall." 
Regev shot back by asking Michaeli why Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog refuses to give testimony about his alleged involvement in the Ehud Barak corruption scandal of the nineties, a question Michaeli refused to answer.