With a week to go to the Knesset election on March 23, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has strengthened, at the expense of Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina, according to a poll published by Channel 12 News yesterday evening. It appears that Netanyahu’s usual tactic of siphoning off votes in the final days of the campaign from within his own ideological camp is underway. The real drama, however, continues to be at the bottom of the pile, where four parties in danger of annihilation are shown barely passing the minimum vote threshold, with just four projected seats each, the smallest possible representation in the Knesset.

The poll published yesterday projects 30 seats for Likud, 18 for Yesh Atid, 10 each for Yamina and New Hope, 8 each for the Joint Arab List and Shas, 7 each for Yisrael Beitenu and United Torah Judaism, 6 for Labor, and 4 each for the Religious Zionist party, Meretz, Blue & White, and Ra’am.

The votes lost to Yesh Atid in comparison with last week’s polls have probably gone to Meretz, which has embarked on a “the sky is falling” campaign such as it has never employed before in its nearly 30 years existence as a political party; to Benny Gantz’s dozy Blue & White party; and to Labor, which has maintained the strength it regained after Merav Michaeli was elected party leader.

The votes gained by Likud have probably come from New Hope and Yamina, which represent natural targets for Netanyahu.

The last polls in the current campaign will be published on Friday, which will leave the candidates four days in which to win over voters in time for election day. The chances are pretty low that four parties teetering on the edge, with just 4-5 projected Knesset seats, will all actually pass the minimum vote threshold. The real results may therefore be very different from the average of the five most recent polls presented below.

Likud – 29 Knesset seats
Yesh Atid – 19
Yamina – 11
New Hope – 10
Joint Arab List – 8
Shas – 7
United Torah Judaism – 7
Yisrael Beitenu – 7
Labor – 6
Religious Zionist – 5
Blue & White – 4
Meretz – 4
Ra’am – 4

Because of the averaging process, the total number of seats is not 120, the actual number of seats in the Knesset.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 17, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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