If Israel’s elections were conducted today, the Likud would receive only 27 seats, down 3 compared with the 2015 vote, according to the weekly Israel Radio survey conducted by pollster Rafi Smith’s polling institute.
The biggest winner in Friday’s survey is MK Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which goes up from 11 to 18 seats, almost as high as it was in its original run in 2013. Lapid’s close competitor for the votes of Israel’s secular center, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party drops from 10 to 7 seats.
The biggest loser, however, is the Zionist Camp, which loses 5 seats, dropping to 19. Incidentally, this drop is about equal to the dowry MK Tzipi Livni brought with her for her shidduch with MK Yitzhak Herzog last time around, which suggests that support from Livni’s voters for the combo has evaporated completely, and the Zionist Camp should probably go back to calling itself Labor.
The Joint Arab List maintains its 13 seats, and United Torah Judaism does as well, with its 6 seats, but the other ultra-Orthodox coalition partner, Shas, loses a seat, going down to 6. Something critical has happened to the support that had been guaranteed the Sephardi party by its traditional-but-secular voters since Interior Minister Aryeh Deri returned to power — they are rejecting their party, likely finding their new place with the Bayit Yehudi party.
Naftali Bennett’s Religious Zionist startup goes up from 8 to 11, likely those seats that were lured by Netanyahu in the last elections.
Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu gains one, up from 6 to 7 seats, as does the leftwing Meretz, which likely receives its bonus from the tumbling Zionist Camp.
Most intriguing: Netanyahu’s current coalition would be 4 votes short of the tiny majority it enjoys today, which means that Lieberman is the force outside this government which must be seduced back into the tent.