Likud has strengthened substantially and opened up a gap from Blue and White according to two polls published today by the Knesset Channel and Israel Today/i24 News. The average of five polls published recently still shows the two main parties neck and neck, but the most up-to-date polls predict a margin of 2-4 Knesset seats in favor of Likud, the largest margin since the election campaign started. In the Knesset Channel poll shows Likud on 36 seats versus 32 for Blue and White, while the Israel Today/i24 News poll shows Likud on 33 seats and Blue and White and 31. According to both these polls, two parties have collapsed and are close to falling below the minimum share of the vote required to win any Knesset seats.
According to the Knesset Channel poll, far-right party Otzma Yehudit will fail to gain enough votes to enter the Knesset. Despite this, and thanks to the voters that have apparently switched from Otzma Yehudit to Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu is close to being able to form a right-wing/haredi coalition, with 60 Knesset seats in total for the block. In the Israel Today/i24 News poll, Otzma Yehudit crosses the minimum vote threshold, but Ayelet Shaked's Yamina party falls to seven Knesset seats, leaving Netanyahu with the backing of 58 of the Knesset's 120 members.
Netanyahu's "the sky is falling" campaign is clearly working, and between his declaration about annexing the Jordan Valley, the air-raid siren at the rally in Ashdod and the racist chat bot that led to him being suspended by Facebook, he has managed to syphon off more and more votes from the other parties on the right. This trend can be expected to continue in the few days left before the election on September 17, and the question is whether Likud's gain will be at the expense of Yamina or of Otzma Yehudit. The answer could be critical for the shape of the next coalition.
Democratic Union and Labor-Gesher are slowly but surely hemorrhaging votes, which seem to be infused into the veins of Blue and White. In the past few days, left-wing voters have begun to see the possibility (only in the opinion polls of course) that Blue and White could end up being the largest party, and may have decided on that account to give their votes to the small chance of replacing Netanyahu rather than to the parties that represent their ideological views. With Likud opening up a lead and with the two left-wing parties in danger of winning no Knesset representation, the question there is whether such voters will change their minds.
The projected number of seats for each party given below is based upon an average of the following five polls:
Knesset Channel, September 12, 2019
Israel Today/i-24 News, September 12
Channel 13 News, September 10
Channel 12 News, September 10
Kan 11, September 10
Likud - 32
Blue and White - 32
Joint Arab List - 10
Yisrael Beitenu - 9
Yamina - 9
United Torah Judaism - 7
Shas - 7
Democratic Union - 5
Labor-Gesher - 5
Otzma Yehudit - 4
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 12, 2019
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