Nearly all the most recent polls have been giving Netanyahu numbers that indicate he will likely to be able to form a coalition after the elections, even without Gidon Saar’s mostly right-leaning New Hope Party.
The latest poll results by Radio 103FM together with Panel Politics show:
Yesh Atid: 18
New Hope: 14
Joint Arab List: 9
Yisrael Beytenu: 7
Benny Gantz’s Blue&White party does not pass the electoral threshold.
This poll shows that Netanyahu can potentially form a stable coalition with his natural partners:
Likud (29), Yamina (13), Shas (8), UTJ (7), and Zionist Union (5) = 62
Gidon Saar (New Hope) or more likely Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) might be able to scratch together a coalition of “Just Not Bibi” parties, but it would require an unholy alliance of opposing parties who would normally not sit together, and certainly won’t be able to sit together in the long term to form a workable or stable coalition.
The most feasible (but unlikely) short-term combination could be (assuming they could agree on who would be in charge):
Yesh Atid (18), New Hope (14), Yamina (13) Yisrael Beytenu (7), Labor (6), Meretz (4) = 62
Smotrich’s Religious-Zionists has tied itself to the Likud. New Hope has tied itself to the “Just Not Bibi” crowd. It is unrealistic (though not impossible) to assume Shas or UTJ will jump ship from Netanyahu. But no one wants to form a coalition that relies on Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) to keep them together.
Yamina has played it smart and said they are not playing the “Just Not Bibi” game, and this time around that may put them in the kingmaker seat.
Netanyahu would prefer to not deal with Naftali Bennett (Yamina) due to Bibi’s long standing acrimony towards him, but they are able to work well together. Saar may change his “Just Not Bibi” tune after the elections if that becomes the only game in town, and the price is right.
But as much as Netanyahu might try to maneuver between the two right-leaning parties and attempt to play one off the other, this time around he may not have a choice, and he will have to properly reward Yamina and Naftali Bennett with respectable ministerial positions.
Another interesting result from the poll shows that the more people on the right support (38%) Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious-Zionists) receiving a ministerial position than those that oppose (25%) the notion.