Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would return to power with a smaller but stronger coalition if elections were held today, according to two polls.
His public complaining that it is impossible to function with the current coalition quarrels lends support to the theory that he is pushing the “Jewish State bill” in order to force his coalition partner-enemies, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, to shut up.
If they don’t want to concede, they are welcome to commit political suicide because both of the leaders are likely to find themselves in the Opposition next time around.
Two polls, one published by Globes and the other by Haaretz, show that the big winner in new elections would be the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett.
The invisible card in the political deck is Moshe Kahlon, who could be the kingpin to the next coalition. Kahlon quit as a Likud Knesset Member last year after doing what other politicians promise and promise and deliver nothing but more promises – break a monopoly.
He ended the oligarchy of three mobile phone companies who charged outrageous prices , opened up the field to competition and was acclaimed for the result of a 90 percent drop in the costs of phone calls.
And guess what? The companies still make money.
Netanyahu wanted him to do so the same thing with the housing market, a maze of vested interests that keep land and housing scarce to the delight of housing developers.
Kahlon was smart enough to know that ending 60 years of selfish control by the government landlord is going to happen like a snowstorm in July in the Negev.
Given Lapid’s pseudo-solution of zero Value Added Tax for buying new homes, with so many conditions that it would not even act as Band-Aid, Kahlon is in a good position to win over Lapid’s supporters who want a politician who works with something other than his mouth.
The Globes poll gives Kahlon nine seats in the next Knesset, leaving Netanyahu two seats shy of a majority if he teams up with Kahlon, Yisrael Beitenu and Jewish Home.
The Haaretz polls gives Kahlon 12 seats, which would mean Netanyahu would have a small but solid majority.
Livni would be out of a job if elections were held today, according to the poll for Globes, while she would retain four of her current six MKs , according to the Haaretz survey.
It is likely that the expected establishment media punish for Livni would help her return to the Knesset, if elections indeed are called.
Lapid would be the biggest loser. His party now has 19 MKs, The two polls give him 10 and 12 seats.
Despite Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog’s smug talk that he will be the next Prime Minister, God forbid, the polls show is he is lucky, he will barely hold on to his current 15 seats, and he might even lose a couple.
Add it up and there is no way he can form a coalition. Even if Labor gets 15, Livni 4, Lapid 12, and the left-wing Meretz party 10,, a very generous estimate and four more than it now has, and Kahlon with 12, the result is 53, eight less than a majority.
Kadima, which now has two seats, is destined to the political graveyard, by all accounts.
So who is left to join Labor-Livni-Lapid?
The Haredi parties? Lapid would make himself the joke of the country.
Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Lieberman? The Labor party would have a collective heart attack, and Lapid would have to make a quick exit from the airport..
Here is how the parties line up according to the polls, with a few seats open since the totals do not equal the Knesset representation of 120 MKs.