Two polls released Sunday night showed wildly different prospects for "Likud-Beytenu," the impending party union between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu.
A Channel 10 poll showed the union shrinking to 35 seats, down from the combined 42 mandates the two parties currently have. The same poll saw Shelly Yacimovich's Labor in second with 23 seats, followed by 14 for Shas and 13 for Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid's new party.
A similar poll on Channel 2, however, showed "Likud-Beytenu" maintaining its 42 seats, with Labor at 23, Yesh Atid at 9 and Shas at 13.
Netanyahu and Liberman surprised the nation by announcing the merger of their respective parties Thursday night. In a joint press conference, Netanyahu explained that the country is facing "difficult challenges and it is time to unite powers for the State of Israel."
"One ticket will strengthen the government, it will strengthen the prime minister, and it will strengthen the country" he said.
For his part, Liberman said that the new union would not be “like the fashionable parties that are created for one term, [but rather] a true party that will allow the government to deal with challenges in the best way possible."
A poll released Thursday by Liberman’s campaign adviser, Arthur Finkelstein, said the joint list would get 51 seats in the 19th Knesset.Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly swapped the results of Channel 2 and Channel 10. Apologies.
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