Friday is the last day on which pollsters are allowed to publish their findings, ahead of Tuesday’s election day. I picked a poll conducted by Prof. Yitzhak Katz’s Ma’agar Mohot Institute and published Friday morning by Israel Hayom, because it included 1,003 respondents with a smaller than usual sampling error of +-2.8%.
The poll shows that the largest party today is Likud, with 33 seats, a record number for Netanyahu’s party in the current campaign. Blue&White follows not far behind with 31 seats. The Joint Arab List is ranked third, with 12 seats, showing a rise in the interest of Arab voters in the elections. Israel Beiteinu is the fourth largest party, with 9 seats, followed by Shas and United Torah Judaism with 7 mandates each. Yamina also gets 7 seats, and Otzma Yehudit 4. The Labor Party moves up from the danger zone of the threshold vote with 6 mandates, while the Democratic Camp is being swept down to 4 seats.
These results show Netanyahu still at 58 seats, 3 short of the prize. However, according to internal polls of the various parties, conducted with samples of several thousand respondents strictly over the phone (and not over the Internet), the real situation is completely different, with Likud getting 35 to 36 seats, with Liberman and Yemina down to seven seats each.
The same internal surveys show that Otzma Yehudit does not get past the threshold, and, in fact, gets only about two seats.
So that the rightwing bloc without Liberman will probably get 60 seats, with the expectation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be able to entice Orly Levy-Abekasis to join the coalition as a social welfare minister and provide him with the necessary majority.