The oddest result of a month of polls is that there has been almost absolutely no change in the numbers.
The weekly Rafi Smith poll published Thursday night reveals that all parties are more or less stagnant and that national religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.
The new party has been on the edge of winning the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset, but the Smith poll leaves Yachad under the radar. If polls in the next two weeks do not clearly show that the party has enough backing to win Knesset representation, voters are likely to abandon the sinking ship in favor of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.
Labor-Livni, running under the banner of the “Zionist Camp” party, would win 25 seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, according to the Smith survey. The number is unchanged from last week’s survey.
Similarly, the Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would win 24 seats, followed by Bayit Yehudi with 16, one more than last week.
Next in line are Yesh Atid, whose chairman is Yair Lapid, with nine seats, and Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri with eight Knesset Members. Both parties’ support is unchanged from last week.
Kulanu (All of Us) headed by Moshe Kahlon won enough backing for eight seats, one less than last week.
Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism), the Ashkenazi Haredi party, gained one seat and now has eight projected MKs. Both Meretz and Yisrael Beiteinu lost one seat and are down to five,
The joint Arab list of parties won 12 seats, one more than in the previous poll.
The changes of one seat up or down are relatively insignificant given the margin of error in surveys.
Pollsters insist there is a large bloc of undecided voters, but if that is the case, they appear to be decidedly undecided.
No matter how you spin the numbers, the results still show that Labor-Livni, or the Zionist Camp if you prefer the official name, have no chance of forming a government.
One Jewish Press report last week suggested that the Arab parties are “natural partners” for a left-wing coalition and that even if they don’t join the coalition, they would give their support for it in critical votes. Arab parties never have agreed to be part of an Israeli government, and given the fact that several of the Arab MKs are blatantly pro-Palestinian Authority and openly against a Jewish State of Israel, they are not about to change the tradition.
However, it also is unlikely that Kulanu and Yesh Atid would accept demands of the Arab parties if push came to shove and Herzog and Livni were to propose a coalition needing support of Arab MKs.
No party has any momentum. The only likely changes in the strength of the left-wing or right-wing camp will come from lukewarm supporters of Kulanu and Yesh Lapid.
That leaves the undecided voters to make up their minds, and they have a little more than six weeks to do so.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu