As Israel braces for tighter restrictions in its third lockdown since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, the latest poll, released yesterday evening by Channel 12 News, shows that the center-right "just not Bibi" grouping could form a coalition after the coming election without Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu's Likud party, and without left-wing party Meretz. This of course depends on the readiness of party leaders to compromise over the leadership of the block and to unite around one candidate for prime minister, something that will not be easy for any of them to do. At any rate, the distribution of seats that emerges from the poll indicates that a combination of Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope, Naftali Bennett's Yamina, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid-Telem, Ron Huldai's The Israelis, Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu, and Benny Gantz's Blue & White would have a narrow majority in the new Knesset, with 62 seats.
Likud remains the largest party by some way, with 27 seats, but if all the party leaders who have repeatedly declared that they will not serve under a government led by Netanyahu keep to that line, then according the results of the poll published last night, the prime minister will have no path to forming the next coalition.
New Hope receives 18 seats in the poll; Yamina 14; Yesh Atid-Telem 13, and the Joint Arab List 10. Shas and United Torah Judaism are stable on 8 seats each. The Israelis, which started with a bang and was shown with 8-9 seats in last week's polls, falls to just 6. Yisrael Beitenu is also on 6 seats; Meretz has 5; and Blue & White closes the list with 4 seats.
Several parties are below the minimum vote threshold for any representation in the Knesset, among them Labor, Habayit Hayehudi, Orly Levy-Abekasis's Gesher, Ofer Shelah's Momentum party, and Yaron Zelekha's Economic party.
The average result of the five latest polls published in the press and media is as follows:
Likud - 28 Knesset seats
New Hope - 17
Yamina - 13
Yesh Atid-Telem - 13
Joint Arab List - 11
The Israelis - 8
Shas - 8
United Torah Judaism - 8
Yisrael Beitenu - 6
Meretz - 6
Blue & White - 4
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 6, 2021
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