Poll finds Likud Beytenu breakup has little impact

Number of Knesset seats not expected to change drastically; other polls indicate the two parties would gain in support running separately.

Netanyahu and Liberman splitting (photo credit: REUTERS)
Netanyahu and Liberman splitting
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s decision to end his Yisrael Beytenu party’s alliance with the Likud faction of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had negligible affect on the political standing of the two parties, according to a Panels poll taken Monday night for the Knesset Channel.
The Likud would rise from 20 seats to 21 and Yisrael Beytenu would remain at its current 11 if an election were held now, the survey found. Other polls have indicated that the two parties would gain support by running separately.
The Panels poll predicted 19 seats for Labor, 18 for Bayit Yehudi, 11 each for Yesh Atid and Meretz, seven for United Torah Judaism, six for Shas and five for Hatnua. Hadash and Balad would win four seats, the United Arab list three and Kadima zero.
Twenty-two percent of respondents would like to initiate early elections and 70% would not.
Both the most recent poll and a similar survey last week, showing that the rise in the electoral threshold from 2 to 3.25 percent that will take effect with the next election was not taken into account. Due to the change, the smallest faction in the next Knesset will have four seats, up from the current two.
Neither poll included the new party that popular former social welfare minister Moshe Kahlon is expected to form, which other surveys predict will do very well.
The Panels poll taken last Wednesday, the day after the funerals of murdered teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Sha’er and Eyal Yifrah, found that an unbroken Likud Beytenu partnership would fall from its current 31 seats to 28. Bayit Yehudi would rise from 12 to 18 and Labor from 15 to 21.
Yesh Atid would fall from 19 seats to 13 and Meretz would double its mandates from six to 12. Hatnua would halve its support from six seats to three, and Kadima would win zero. Shas would win seven seats, a significant fall from is current 11. UTJ would maintain its seven mandates.
Hadash and the United Arab list would keep their four seats each and Balad its three.