Left-wing bloc gains majority in latest Knesset poll

For the first time since 2015 election, feft-wing, Arab bloc wins majority in Knesset poll. Shas remains dangerously close to threshold.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 9:13 AM

Shelly Yechimovich and Avi Gabbai
Shelly Yechimovich and Avi Gabbai
Flash 90

For the first time in two and a half years, a Knesset poll shows the left-wing/Arab bloc winning an absolute majority of seats in Israel’s legislature.

The poll was conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs with the Midgam Panel and Statnet polling agencies and was publicized by Channel 10.

While recent polls have shown the left-wing bloc closing the gap with the right-wing, religious bloc currently in power, the opposition parties had failed to reach an absolute majority of 61 seats.

According to the Channel 10 survey, however, the Zionist Union – an amalgamation of the Israel Labor Party and Hatnuah faction – the far-left Meretz party, Yesh Atid, and the Arab Joint List would win a combined 61 seats if new elections were held today.

That would leave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s current coalition without a ruling majority, forcing him to either create a unity government with rivals Yair Lapid or Avi Gabbay, or enable Yesh Atid or the Zionist Union to form a government.

The Likud remains on top, according to the poll, with 26 seats, a decline of 4 since the 2015 election.

In second place is former Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party with 22 seats, doubling the 11 it won in 2015 and surpassing its previous peak of 19 in 2013.

The Zionist Union, which is currently the second largest party with 24 seats, falls to third with just 19 mandates.

The predominantly Arab Joint List party comes in fourth with 12 mandates, down from 13, with the Jewish Home in a close fifth at 11 seats, up from 8.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s centrist Kulanu faction falls to 7 seats from the 10 it currently holds, while the far-left Meretz surges from 5 to 8.

Among the haredi parties, United Torah Judaism remains stable at six mandates, while Shas falls from seven to four, just barely passing the minimum electoral threshold of 3.25%.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party falls to five seats from six.