A survey published by the Kan 11 television channel this morning shows the Blue & White party, headed by Benny Gantz, overtaking Likud and topping the polls with 30 projected Knesset seats in the upcoming election in Israel, against 29 seats for Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Liberman, strengthens to 11 seats, and it could be that Likud's loss is Yisrael Beitenu's gain.
Out of six surveys that have been published since the United Right list was formed under Ayelet Shaked, Likud leads in four and Blue & White in two. The gaps are so small that it is impossible to draw any serious conclusions about the eventual result, but they do show that there is a bitter struggle over every vote, and one seat could decide who the winner will be.
Perhaps it's the heat, and perhaps it's the long school holidays, but after a slight injection of energy in the days leading up to the finalization of the party lists, it seems that the election campaign has waned somewhat and sunk into a summer slumber. There is no sense of urgency, no buzz in the air. It's as though the election is a year away and not in six weeks' time. The campaigners apparently think that the Israeli public is in any case not paying attention and is preoccupied at this time, and so they are holding their fire until the first two weeks of September. At any rate, it is clear that if the numbers stay as they are in the most recent polls, on September 18, the day after the election, Benjamin Netanyahu will find himself unable to form a government of the right, and Avigdor Liberman may well succeed in his plan to force the formation of a unity government with Likud and Blue & White.
As things stand at present, the right-wing parties that did not join Ayelet Shaked's list, Moshe Feiglin's Zehut and Itamar Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yehudit, are projected to fail to pass the minimum vote threshold for winning any Knesset seats, which is 3.25% of the votes cast, although Ben-Gvir is not very far below it, with 2.8% of the votes.
The following list of projected Knesset seats for each party represents an average of five polls: Kan 11 published August 4; Channel 12 News, August 3; Radio FM103 August 2; Israel Today and i24 News, August 2; and Channel 13 News, August 1. The numbers do not add up to 120 (the number of seats in the Knesset) because certain parties pass the minimum threshold in some polls but on average are below it.
Likud - 30
Blue & White - 29
United Right - 11
Joint Arab list - 11
Yisrael Beitenu - 10
Democratic Union - 8
United Torah Judaism - 7
Shas - 7
Labor-Gesher - 6
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 4, 2019
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