Poll: Results of third Knesset elections will be identical

The increased strength of the largest factions might indicate a desire of some of the voters to stabilize the political situation.

By World Israel News Staff 

If Israelis are forced to go to a third Knesset election within a year, the parliamentary divide between right and left would remain nearly identical but the two largest factions would get stronger, according to a public opinion poll on Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

If arrangements for forming a new government coalition are not in place by Wednesday night, another parliamentary election will be held in the coming months, probably on March 2, as efforts to form a government after elections in April and September have failed.

On the one hand, the poll shows that the country remains divided. The survey, carried out by the Kantar polling agency, shows that the left-wing bloc of parties edges out the right, 57-56, in the 120-member parliament. Israel Beiteinu, with 7 seats, remains the wild card, as it’s not clear which side the party would support.

On the other hand, the two largest factions would strengthen. Blue and White, led by MK Benny Gantz would win 35 seats, edging out the Likud, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which would earn 34 seats, says the poll conducted for the public broadcaster.

In the September 17 election, Blue and White defeated the Likud 33-32.

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The increased strength of the largest factions might indicate a desire of some of the voters to stabilize the political situation in the country by decreasing the influence of smaller parties.

Even so, the results of the opinion poll are not viewed as changing the landscape significantly enough to justify another election. Many MKs have spoken out against the prospect of spending more finances and resources for another ballot as various government services remain paralyzed due to a lack of decision-making during the prolonged period of an interim cabinet.

Efforts toward establishing a governing coalition have centered around forming a national unity government – Likud and Blue and White – joining forces.

The smaller parties in a March election would include Joint List with 13 seats, United Torah Judaism and Shas each with eight members of parliament, Yisrael Beytenu, 7, New Right, 6, Labor-Gesher, 5, and Democratic Union, 4.