The Likud would be the largest party in the 22nd Knesset if new elections were held today, a new poll shows – but neither the Israeli Right or Left would be in a position to form a new government.
According to the poll, which was conducted by the Smith polling agency on behalf of Radio 103FM and published Friday morning, if new elections were held today, the Likud would defeat the center-left Blue and White party by a margin of two seats, 30 to 28.
Despite that win, however, the Likud would have no clear path towards forming a right-wing government, or even a unity government with Blue and White, likely leaving former Defense Minister and Yisrael Beytenu party chief Avidgor Liberman as kingmaker.
The right-wing - religious bloc would win 66 seats if new elections were held today, compared to 54 seats for the left-wing – Arab bloc.
But that 66-seat majority includes nine seats for Yisrael Beytenu, which has ruled out joining a narrow right-wing government, instead demanding that the Likud form a unity government with the Blue and White party and exclude both right-wing parties and the two haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism.
On their own, the Likud and Blue and White would be unable to form the necessary 61-seat majority for a coalition.
The two haredi parties would win a total of 15 seats: seven for UTJ and eight for Shas.
The New Right party under Ayelet Shaked would win seven seats, compared to five for the United Right party under Rafi Peretz.
On the left, the Labor party, which is running in conjunction with the Gesher party, would retain its six seats, while the Democratic Camp – a union of Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party – would win nine seats.
The predominantly Arab Joint List party would, if it brought all of its member factions back together, win 11 seats.
The results for the poll show that the unification of the Meretz and Israel Democratic Party does not alter the political map.
In the previous Smith poll, released last Friday, Meretz was projected to win five seats, with the IDP projected to win four.
The blocs were also projected to win the same number of seats last week as in today’s poll, with 66 seats for the right-wing – religious bloc, including nine for Yisrael Beytenu; compared to 54 for the left-wing – Arab bloc.