With the Likud party shown plummeting in recent polls, following the addition of Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party into the political arena, the unsurprising is happening – the Likud is doing what it can to avert the likelihood of new elections.
Two polls published in the last 24 hours, since Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton announced she would be joining New Hope, show the Likud gaining just 27 seats if elections were held now, down from the 36 it currently holds – and New Hope at 20 or even 22 if former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot agrees to join Sa’ar.
Speaking on Radio 103FM this morning, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) commented on the polls and admitted that there were efforts being made behind the scenes to prevent elections being held this coming spring.
“We’ve been working behind the scenes to avert elections throughout the past months,” Gamliel insisted. “I think that with a bit of goodwill, we will be able to create understandings with Yamina and Blue & White. We’re not afraid of the ‘Anyone but Bibi’ camp,” she added. “Unfortunately, those for whom that is their prime motivation have turned politics into a series of personal attacks and are not even bothering to focus on the real issues at hand.”
Gamliel also claimed that “the legal position of the Prime Minister is getting better and better. We are in the process of amending the indictments against him.” If indeed this is the case, it would remove some of the urgency felt by elements within the Likud to go to elections rather than allow Benny Gantz to assume the premiership, as was originally agreed in the coalition agreement signed by Gantz and Netanyahu earlier this year. And with the above-quoted polls also indicating the demise of Blue & White, it remains to be seen if Gantz will back down on his demand for the immediate passage of a state budget and preserve the unity government for as long as he can.