A union between five smaller right-wing parties could net as many as 12 seats in this year’s election, a new poll shows, while none of the parties would likely pass the electoral threshold if they ran separately.
Up until the departure of Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Shuli Muallem from the Jewish Home party late last December, Jewish Home-National Union ticket’s place in the 21st Knesset seemed assured.
The union of the two parties was polling consistently at between nine to 13 seats, a gain of one to five seats over its performance in the 2015 election.
Following the establishment of the New Right, however, by former Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett, the Jewish Home-National Union list plunged in the polls, and has struggled to clear the electoral threshold ever since.
Under Israeli law, a party must win 3.25% of all valid votes to enter the Knesset. Any party which fails to clear the threshold receives no seats, and its votes are distributed among those parties which do clear the threshold, in proportion to their total share of the vote, thus benefiting larger parties.
Concerned by the possibility the party could be left out of the next Knesset, some party officials weighed the possibility of expanding the alliance with the National Union to include other smaller right-wing parties.
Three such factions have declared bids for the April 9th elections, including Otzma Yehudit, Yahad, and Zehut.
Otzma Yehudit, led by former National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari and former Kach activist Baruch Marzel, is closely aligned with the Kach movement of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Yahad was founded by former Shas chairman Eli Yishai, after he bolted the party prior to the 2015 election. A joint list of Otzma and Yahad narrowly failed to cross the 3.25% threshold that year, receiving 2.97% of the vote.
The third faction on the right without Knesset representation, Zehut, was founded by former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin. Hawkish on security issues and the future of Judea and Samaria, the party has adopted a libertarian-leaning stance on socio-economic matters.
None of the three parties appears likely to clear the threshold if they run independently – though Zehut did narrowly clear the threshold in a Maagar Mohot poll released on February 1st.
Should they run together, however, a joint ticket would net a total of 12 seats, a new Maagar Mohot internal poll shows.
The results of the poll, which was conducted on behalf of a group of rabbis within the religious-Zionist movement, were released by political analyst Jeremy Saltan Wednesday.
According to the poll, the Jewish Home would receive between two to three seats-worth of votes if it ran without the National Union – but would fail to enter the Knesset. The National Union, by comparison, would win between one to two seats.
If they two factions ran together, they would narrowly clear the threshold, winning a total of four seats.
Adding Otzma Yehudit into the list would double the number of mandates it would win, from four to eight.
Yahad, however, would attract few new voters. With Yahad added to the list, the ticket would win between eight to nine seats.
Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party, however, would net at least three additional seats, pushing the total list to 12 mandates.