Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign to bring votes to his Likud party from rival parties within the right-wing block has started to work to some degree. A poll published by Walla! this morning, two weeks before the election date of September 17, shows Ayelet Shaked's Yamina party and Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu weakening to nine projected Knesset seats each. On the other hand, Likud is still on 32 seats, similar to its showing in recent polls, with Blue and White just behind it on 31 seats. This means that not all the votes lost by Yamina and Yisrael Beitenu have flowed to Likud. Some may even have switched to far-right party Otzma Yehudit, which has strengthened slightly to 2.7% of voters surveyed. The threshold for winning any Knesset seats is 3.25% of the total votes cast. Votes from the Zehut party led by Moshe Feiglin, whom Netanyahu persuaded to drop out of this election, may also have found their way to Otzma Yehudit.
The Joint Arab List has weakened slightly to 10 seats in the poll published today, while Labor-Gesher again strengthens, reaching seven seats, on a par with Democratic Union. Shas and United Torah Judaism are stable, on seven and eight seats respectively.
With two weeks to go and Israelis having returned from vacations abroad and sent their children back to school, the race should start in earnest. The country's master campaigner, who also happens to be its prime minister, is still shooting in all directions, but it seems that the enemy marked down this time round is the press and media, specifically Guy Peleg of Channel 12 News, who has revealed extracts from the protocols of the investigations of Netanyahu and the state's witnesses in the various criminal cases involving the prime minister. After yesterday's exposé on Channel 13 of the recording of a vociferous telephone conversation between Netanyahu and then Minister of Communications Ayoob Kara, in which Netanyahu is heard demanding action to assist a television channel politically favorable to him, it can only be assumed that his call for a boycott of the media will extend to Channel 13 as well.
In the other parties, the campaigners still seem to be half-asleep, and swords have yet to be drawn. We waited all summer for things to start moving, but the only one fighting for his life at the moment is Netanyahu.
The following five recently published polls form the basis of the average projections of the number of Knesset seats that will be won by each party given below:
A Walla! poll of September 3.
A Channel 13 News poll of September 1.
A Kan 11 poll of September 1.
A Ma'ariv-FM103 poll of August 30.
An Israel Today and i24 News poll of August 30.
Likud - 31
Blue and White - 31
Joint Arab List - 10
Yamina - 10
Yisrael Beitenu - 10
Shas - 7
United Torah Judaism - 7
Democratic Union - 7
Labor-Gesher - 6
Because of the averaging process, the total number of seats is not necessarily 120 - the number of seats in the Knesset.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 3, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019