Likud internal polling shows Jewish Strength will fail, but party leader radiates confidence

Likud begs the right-wing public not to “waste” its vote, while the Jewish Strength party maintains it will enter the Knesset next week.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

As next week’s elections draw ever closer, the Likud is trying to convince the public that that the furthest right-wing party, Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Strength”) will not pass the electoral threshold, and that voting for it would prevent a victory for the Right.

A Likud statement last week said that “dozens” of internal party polls have shown that Jewish Strength will not receive the 3.5 percent of votes necessary to make it into the Knesset.

“At the end of the day, they’re not going to pass, and what will happen is what we had last time, with two to three seats thrown in the garbage,” a party source warned in a Jerusalem Post report pm Wednesday. “The right-wing bloc only needs two or three seats for a coalition without Liberman, and Otzma is taking them away.”

In contrast, Jewish Strength party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir has radiated confidence in his most recent media interviews.

“In a survey put on Netanyahu’s desk yesterday, Otzma Yehudit got 4.5 mandates,” he told Kan Reshet Bet on Thursday.

“I was sure that Netanyahu would come out with a declaration that Ben-Gvir was good for the [right-wing] bloc, but it could be that there are people in his party that have abandoned the decision to form a right-wing government.”

He pointed out that in the past, the prime minister has brought left-wing politicians such as Tzippi Livni and Ehud Barak into his coalition, but said that he would be loyal to Netanyahu and his own right-wing principles.

According to an Israel Hayom report Wednesday, sources close to Ben-Gvir say that although the prime minister knows that the surveys are now showing that their party will pass the threshold, “the fear is that Netanyahu has despaired of forming a right-wing government. But we haven’t despaired.”