Shlomo Filber
Shlomo Filber Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Interviewed on Radio 103 FM, Shlomo Filber, founder and head of the marketing research and strategy firm, Direct Polls, predicts that Ayelet Shaked’s new party will not pass the electoral threshold of 3.25% of the votes, and that the Likud primaries will result in a change in the nature of the list running in the next Knesset elections to be held on November 1.

Ayelet Shaked’s political future is now in question after the union between her party, Yamina, and Yoaz Handel’s party, Derech Eretz. Filber predicts that the new party they formed, Zionist Spirit, will not pass the electoral threshold and therefore will not sit in the Knesset at all. "My professional opinion is not my political opinion. Mandates don't fall from the moon, they move from somewhere. And when you're looking to see who changes their mind, who moves from one place to another, you have to look, not only for who got the vote, but where it came from."

"Ayelet is stuck between the secular Blue and White/New Hope Party, on the one hand, and the secular Likud and Religious Zionism, on the other.” Filber explains that Shaked currently has about 70-80 thousand votes and to pass the threshold, she would need another 80-90 thousand. “The likelihood, according to my professional analysis,” he says, is that given the political situation today, she will find it very difficult to mobilize that number of people to switch from another party to hers.”

Filber talked about expectations for the general elections and Netanyahu's ability to form a coalition after November 1. "We sample over time. We get some kind of picture of the situation, but Election Day always brings surprises that no one can predict. The only thing I can say is that there is a trend that is taking place in all parties. There is a change of generations now. We will see new faces, people that weren't there before."

"At the moment, we are in a statistical tie, 59 for the right-wing bloc and 59 for the left-wing bloc. In contrast with previous elections, this time there are two very distinct trends – 98% of the voters know who they will vote for or which bloc they will vote for and perhaps are only undecided regarding which party they will vote for within the bloc, and the elections will only be determined by voting percentages.”

Filber explained that the two sectors of the population that will determine this election outcome are, on the one hand, the Arab population, and on the other hand, those who vote for Likud and for the Haredi party, Shas.

In the previous election cycle, there were four separate elections before Prime Minister Yair Lapid and former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett were able to form a coalition and prevent a fifth election. Filber reminds radio listeners that in the first of those four elections, 50% of the Israeli Arab population came out to vote, and by the third, 65% of the Arabs voted. “This, of course, has a strong impact on the final picture.”

In contrast, “Likud and Shas, have historically had relatively low voting percentages with respect to their proportion of the population compared to the proportion of the population that votes left and center,” says Filber. “The last election, even fewer were reported to have turned out to vote."

Whether or not Netanyahu will achieve 61 seats that will enable him to form a coalition depends on voting percentages. Filber says that if "the Arabs come out en masse and the Likud voters don't come out, it won't happen. If it's the other way around, then definitely, yes."