Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman at a press conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
If elections for the 22nd Knesset were held today, the key to forming the coalition was once again given to Yisrael Beytenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, according to a poll conducted by the Smith Institute for Radio 103FM and for Ma'ariv Weekend, which will be broadcast today.
The Likud, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, received 33 seats, while Blue and White, headed by Benny Gantz, got 30 mandates. Yisrael Beytenu reached 8 seats.
The Joint Arab List received 10 seats, Shas 8 and United Torah Judaism 7. The New Right, if headed by Bennett and Shaked, who have not yet agreed on renewing their cooperation, would get 6 mandates and Labor, newly led by Amir Peretz, dropped to an all time low with only 5 seats, the same amount as Meretz. Ehud Barak's Israel Democratic Party received 4 seats and The Union of Right-wing Parties 4 as well.
This puts the Right bloc at a total of 58 mandates, ,compared to 54 for the Center-Left, giving Liberman the power to decide who would form the next government.
The fact that this was the only poll published that gave Likud a three-seat lead over Blue and White could be explained by the fact that the Smith Institute, which conducted the poll, is the pollster for Likud in this election.
Netanyahu has signaled, at this stage, that there are two rivals in the current election campaign - and neither of them is Blue and White chairman, Benny Gantz. After publishing videos that raise questions about Ehud Barak's friendship with American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Netanyahu again attacked who he thought brought about another election campaign within a year - Yisrael Beytenu and its chairman Liberman.
On Thursday, Netanyahu toured Ashkelon and, together with incoming housing minister Yifat Shasha Biton and outgoing housing minister Yoav Galant, inaugurated a project of hundreds of housing units for immigrants and Holocaust survivors. On this occasion, Netanyahu attacked Liberman and said: "For years, in relation to immigrants from the Soviet Union, there was a policy of a lot of talk and no action.We changed that."
Liberman responded harshly to the remarks in a conversation with Maariv
: "Netanyahu is hysterical, because he understands that the only ones preventing him from forming a religious government is Yisrael Beytenu. Everyone understands that he is involved with the 'Russian vote' only two and a half months before the elections. But we have learned long ago that Netanyahu's promises have no cover." In a statement to the media, Liberman described Netanyahu's remarks as "Bibi stories."
The survey was conducted among a representative sample of 600 people and the sampling error was 4%.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>