Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (L) and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R),.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
If elections for parliament were held today, the results would not be much different than the previous poll conducted just over a year ago, according to the latest survey of prospective voters.
A poll conducted by Panels Politics and commissioned by The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Sof Hashavua revealed that if elections were held today, Likud Beytenu would maintain its edge while the Labor Party would boost its representation in the 120-seat Knesset.
Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid faction does not appear to be able to translate its success in gaining passage of the electoral reform and universal conscription bills into more votes. Meanwhile, Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, continues to lose support following the death of its influential spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
Meretz, the avowedly leftist movement, appears to be gaining more support among voters, the poll indicates.
According to the poll, Likud Beytenu would win 34 seats, a three-seat improvement from its current representation in parliament. Labor would replace Yesh Atid as the second-largest faction, winning 19 seats (as opposed to the 15 it currently occupies). Lapid’s party, meanwhile, nosedives from its current 19 seats to just 11 seats.
The religious Zionist Bayit Yehudi party headed by Naftali Bennett gains two seats (from 12 to 14), while Meretz jumps from six to 10 seats. Shas falls from 11 seats to just seven seats, while Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua faction barely makes the cut (four seats). Far-right faction Strong Israel makes it into the Knesset with three seats, while Kadima falls short of the minimum vote threshold.
In light of the Knesset’s passage of electoral reform, the poll took into account the latest legislation raising the minimum vote threshold. By law, any Knesset party which fails to win 3.25 percent of the vote cannot gain representation in parliament.
In the simulation conducted by Panels Politics, the Likud Beytenu would win 36 seats, Labor would win 20 seats, Bayit Yehudi garners 15 seats, and Yesh Atid would occupy 12 seats. Both Arab parties – Ra’am-Ta’al (which today has four seats) and Balad (three) – would miss the cut entirely. Hadash, the Jewish –Arab communist movement, wins four seats.
It is worth noting that the public has yet to internalize the significance of the new law, which could end up altering voting patterns. Arab legislators have discussed merging their rival factions, while other political figures say that more changes could be forthcoming as a result of the new legislation.