Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during his appearance before Congress.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An internal Likud poll has shown for the first time that a majority of Israelis do not believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will form the next government, a Likud source said Monday.
Until recently, more than 60 percent of Israelis thought that Netanyahu would form the coalition after Tuesday's election.
On March 9, the Likud's data showed that 62.3% thought that Netanyahu would form the coalition and 19.9 % thought that Zionist Union leaders Issac Herzog and Tzipi Livni would form the government. On Monday, for the first time, the number believing Netanyahu would form the government fell to 49.6 %, while 30.4 % thought Herzog would form the coalition. It marked the first time since the election campaign began that the number dipped below 50 percent. The polls are taken by McLaughlin and associates, the American Republican strategist working for the Netanyahu campaign.
Netanyahu continued his recent warnings to his supporters on Monday, saying that the only way to bridge the gap between the Likud and the Zionist Union was for the entire nationalist camp to vote Likud.
Speaking at a campaign event in Or Yehuda, just a day before elections, Netanyahu said that their was a "massive effort from abroad to increase the Arab turnout."
He warned that if Likud did not have enough mandates to be tasked with forming the coalition, Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni "would build a government with the Arab list, whose secretary-general said Hamas is not a terror group."
"There is no privilege to vote for other parties because it harms Likud. There is no privilege to stay at home because it harms Likud. Bring your friends to vote Machal, Machal, and more Machal," he said, referring to the Likud's three letter Hebrew designation on the party's ballots.