Poll: Netanyahu wins election even if center-left unites

A new survey shows Netanyahu and the Likud party will be in a better position to form a government even if the center-left parties form a single bloc.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Even if the opposition parties unite, the Likud party will still be better-positioned to form a governing coalition, according to a new poll published by Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday.

The poll follows similar ones published in the weekend editions of newspapers Makor Rishon and Israel Hayom that suggest the left-wing and center-left parties will be in a tough position to put together enough seats after the April 9 elections to meet the 61-seat minimum majority in Israel’s parliament.

The survey found that if the three major opposition leaders combined – Benny Gantz (Israel Resilience), Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Avi Gabbay (Labor) – they would in fact garner more seats (36) than Likud (32).

However, they wouldn’t be able to find enough coalition partners to get to 61. According to the poll, a center-left bloc would take 46 votes while a right-wing bloc would reach 49. An Arab bloc would receive 12 seats and an ultra-Orthodox Jewish bloc 13.

Even with the agreement of an Arab bloc, a center-left coalition would cobble together only 58 seats. The ultra-Orthodox would put the right-wing bloc over the top with 62.

While religious parties have joined left-wing Labor governments in the past, with the sharpening of differences between religious and secular Jews, it is extremely unlikely the ultra-Orthodox would join a center-left coalition, particularly one that included Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid, who has advocated for forced conscription of Orthodox Jews into the Israeli Defense Forces.