Herzog maintains slender lead over Netanyahu

Isaac Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu

The latest "Globes" Rafi Smith poll finds that the election race is still wide open.

With less than seven weeks to the elections, the latest "Globes" Rafi Smith poll, conducted yesterday just after the attack killing two IDF soldiers on the Lebanese border, finds the two largest parties still running almost neck and neck with a slender lead for the Zionist Camp (Labor/Hatenua). Since the last poll two weeks ago, Zionist Camp (Labor/Hatenua) has remained at 25, and the Likud has also remained unchanged at 24.

The past day's events have contradicted the accepted doctrine in Israel that serious security events help the right with the tension in the north having no impact on the poll.

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hold on government looking more and more precarious, he has resorted to desperate actions. As "Globes" revealed earlier this week, he made a generous offer to Moshe Kahlon, whose Kulanu party is maintaining its strength with a predicted nine seats, to be minister of finance and deputy prime minister in the next government, if he unites with the Likud. Also on offer were nine realistic places on the joint list. In the latest poll, Kahlon has fallen one seat from nine to eight.

Despite the controversy over drafting former Beitar Jerusalem soccer star Eli Ohana onto his list, and then seeing him pull out, Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi has increased its strength by one seat to 16. Yesh Atid and Shas have remained unchanged at 9 and 8 respectively. United Torah Judaism has gained a seat to 8 and Meretz has slipped down one to 5.

Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu continues to lose ground and with just five seats in the latest poll. He is in grave danger of falling below the 3.75% minimum vote to enter the Knesset, which ironically Liberman himself introduced in order to block the Arab parties.

But the Arab parties have now united and their combined strength has seen them gain a seat to 12.

Poll results

If the election were held today for which party would you vote?

(Results in terms of Knesset seats, first the current poll, conducted on January 28, followed by the result of the January 14 poll, and, in parentheses, the number of seats in the current Knesset).

Labor/Hatenua 25, 25 (21 together)

Likud 24, 24 (31)

Yisrael Beitenu 5, 6 (-)

Yesh Atid 9, 9 (19)

Habayit Hayehudi 16, 15 (12)

Shas 8, 8 (11)

United Torah Judaism 8, 7 (7)

Meretz 5, 6, (6)

Moshe Kahlon Kulanu 8, 9 (-)

Joint Arab List 12, 11, (11)

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 29, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Isaac Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu
Isaac Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu
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