Photo Credit: Flash 90
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) with then Finance Minister Yair Lapid, November 13, 2013.

A Kan 11 News poll published Saturday night shows the Likud led by Binyamin Netanyahu has dropped to 32 seats, compared to the previous Kan 11 poll that gave it 33. As a result, the right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu dropped to 59 for the first time in a month and a half. Yesh Atid led by Prime Minister Yair Lapid increased its mandate to 25.

Here’s the list by blocs:

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Right-wing: Likud 32, Religious Zionism 12, Shas 8, United Torah Judaism 7 = 59

Left-wing: Yesh Atid 25, National camp 12, Israel Beiteinu 6, Labor 5, Meretz 5 = 53

Arabs: Hadash-Ta’al 4, Ra’am 4 = 8

With these numbers, Lapid is more likely to cross the 60-mandate threshold than Netanyahu, if he strikes a deal with the Arab parties. Ra’am is already a “trusted” coalition partner, and without the more openly antisemitic Balad, Hadash-Ta’al could be presented as an acceptable partner, within or without the coalition. It would surely be a rocky coalition that crumbles with the first violent clashes between Israel and Gaza or between the IDF and PA terrorists – but it would get Lapid to the president with 61 recommendations.

Indeed, the reason for the big split between Hadash-Ta’al and Balad was a disagreement over recommending anyone to the president to establish a government (Balad) and considering it (Hadash-Ta’al).

Balad does not cross the 3.25% threshold vote in the poll. It was banned last week by the Knesset election committee and it’s not clear if it would win its High Court of Justice appeal, but either way, Balad only gets 1.6% in this poll.

Habayit Hayehudi led by Ayelet Shaked received only 2.2%. Shaked announced last week that should she get close to the desired 3.25%, Netanyahu would be forced to support her campaign, the way he had done in the last election when he boosted the Smotrich-Ben Gvir union.

Needless to say, those 2.2% could get Netanyahu over the 61-seat barrier, which means that the Likud chairman might be willing to trade horses with Shaked. He might even promise her a ministerial position. He promised Amichai Chikli a ministerial appointment after the latter had been banned from running. I’m sure there are hundreds, maybe more Israelis who were promised a ministerial position by Bibi. Ask former Water Minister Zeev Elkin.

Walla reported Saturday night that the same folks who shamed Yamina MKs into deserting the Lapid-Bennett coalition are now planning a campaign to similarly shame Habayit Hayehudi candidates out of running, under the slogan, “You don’t have the mandate to bring down the right.” According to the report, they are planning to demonstrate outside those candidates’ homes, storm their meetings, and flood the Habayit Hayehudi WhatsApp groups with messages calling on the party to drop out of the race.

Incidentally, the poll asked respondents what they thought about the Knesset Central Election committee banning MK Amichai Chikli from running, over his status as a rogue MK: 34% agreed with the ban, and 24% were against it. A whopping 42% couldn’t care less.

The survey was conducted by the Kantar Institute headed by Dodi Hasid, with a combined Internet and telephone sample of 652 men and women aged 18 and over, from Thursday, September 29, 2022, to Saturday, October 1, 2022. Sampling error: 4.2%.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.