Likud gains as Yamina weakens

Naftali Bennett  / Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth

Co-opting Shalmonim protest leader Avir Kara has so far not had the effect that Yamina leader Naftali Bennett hoped for.

With less than two weeks to go before the party lists for the Knesset election close, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party has strengthened and closed the gap between it and Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope party. In a poll published in Hebrew daily Ma'ariv on Friday, both parties are projected to win sixteen Knesset seats. Naftali Bennett's Yamina party, on the other hand, has weakened to just eleven projected Knesset seats. Yamina's lost votes have apparently gone to Likud, which has strengthened to 31 seats.

Bennett had hoped that bringing in Avir Kara, the leader of the Shulmanim, the protest group on behalf of the self-employed in Israel, would substantially strengthen him. Kara will be in seventh place on the Yamina list, and the Shulmanim movement will have two more slots between eleventh and twentieth place. So far, Bennett's hopes seem to have been disappointed.

For the remaining parties the latest poll shows little change. The Joint Arab List is on ten seats; the haredi parties have eight each; Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu has seven; Meretz has five; and Blue & White and the Israelis have four each. Time for alliances and mergers is running out.

The average of the number of seats for each party in the five most recent polls is as follows:

Likud - 30
New Hope - 16
Yesh Atid - 14
Yamina - 12
Joint Arab List - 11
Shas - 8
United Torah Judaism - 8
Yisrael Beitenu - 7
Meretz - 5
Blue & White - 5
The Israelis - 4

The Labor Party remains below the minimum vote threshold for winning any Knesset representation.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 24, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Naftali Bennett  / Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth
Naftali Bennett / Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth
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