Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Former PM Naftali Bennett and New PM Yair Lapid in a moment of friendship, June 30, 2022.

The 24th Knesset was dissolved Thursday and elections will take place November 1, 123 days from today. This Panel Politics poll, conducted by Menachem Lazar for Maariv, was conducted after the announcement of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s retirement and the transfer of the Yamina party leadership to Ayelet Shaked.

According to the poll, Yamina led by Shaked would win 4 seats, down from 7, but above the vote threshold, which was not a sure thing only a few months ago. And should Shaked decide to join a Benjamin Netanyahu coalition government, hopefully in exchange for the justice ministry where she belongs, Bibi would be back in Balfour with a 63-seat strong coalition government.

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According to the poll, if the elections to the 25th Knesset were held today, the Likud party led by Netanyahu would win 34 seats, up from 30. Together with Religious Zionism (10, up from 6), Shas (8, down from 9), United Torah Judaism (stable with 7), and Yamina, Bibi will have himself 63, all-right-wing seats. As I noted on Thursday, it’s not at all clear that the Likud chairman actually wants a purely right-wing coalition where he would likely mark the left-most corner (New Poll Gives Shaked’s Yamina 5 Seats, Netanyahu’s Coalition 63).

Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would score 22 seats according to this poll, up from 17, which explains the demise of Meretz – its voters were unhappy with the obstructionist behavior of Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi and decided to support the more pragmatic choice, Lapid. Benny Gantz’s Blue&White also siphons a seat from Meretz, moving up to 9 seats from its current 8. Labor is down one, from 7 to 6. Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope is down to 5 from 6, but they should be delighted since the polls only a few months ago predicted its disappearance. Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beiteinu is down to 5 from 7.

Lapid’s coalition with Yamina only reached 55 seats, Netanyahu’s coalition without Yamina has 59. It tells us there’ll be a lot of horse trading next November.

On the Arab front, the Joint List keeps its 6 seats, and Ra’am keeps its 4 seats. When the Arab politicians cooperated in one, unified albeit quarrelsome faction, they won 13 seats. We should be grateful for those quarrels and for the general disinterest of the Arab voters because on paper, had all the eligible Israeli Arabs exercised their right to vote, they could win between 20 and 24 seats. So please don’t tell them.

The survey was conducted over the Panel4All website on June 29-30, 2022, with 593 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population in the State of Israel aged 18 and over, 511 Jews and 82 Arabs. The maximum sampling error in this survey is 4.2%.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.