Photo Credit: Ayelet Shaked's Facebook page
(L-R) Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett, Bezalel Smotrich, Rafi Peretz

The latest poll, from Kan 11, published Sunday morning, offers the first layout of the political map since the final deadline for the parties to submit their slates. There are no surprises, but it’s important to file this one as the start point for the actual campaign the will end in 44 days. So here goes:

Blue&White – 30
Likud – 29
United Right – 11
Israel Beiteinu – 11
Joint Arab List – 11
Democratic Camp – 8
United Torah Judaism – 7
Shas – 7
Labor-Gesher – 6

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Conducted last Friday (the lists were closed Thursday), the survey’s margin of error is +-4.3%, with 553 respondents (out of a sample of 1,667 who were asked). The margin suggests that any of these parties could be significantly less or more powerful come September, but it’s virtually identical to last week’s average polls.

One significant point: the next Knesset will most likely feature only 9 factions, down from 13. That’s a significant change in the direction of fewer and larger Knesset parties, and the trend is likely to continue.

Now comes the tragic part in terms of the rightwing bloc: since neither Feiglin’s Zehut nor Ben-Gvir’s Otzman Yehudit makes it past the 3.5% threshold (Otzma gets 2.8%, Zehut 1.9%) that’s a 4.7% loss to the right, or 5.6 seats, placing the block (without Liberman ) at 54 seats, instead of 59 or 60.

This shows that the Israeli Jewish public is solidly rightwing, because, with Liberman, the rightwing representation in the Knesset stands at 70%. It also means that the Rightwing Union must spend the next 44 days hammering at the potential Zehut and Otzma voters to use their votes sensibly and accept the lesser of evils.

Incidentally, the fact that Oztma and Zehut have garnered a potential 5.6 seats between them does not necessarily mean that, had the Rightwing Union succeeded in absorbing them it would have grown by this many seats. It’s more likely that the addition of these seats would have been balanced out by voters who would have abandoned the new party over the inclusion of Ben-Gvir and Feiglin.

Nevertheless, Rightwing Union must strive to rake in as many as it can from those two failed parties, possibly with deals that would yield outright endorsements from Ben-Gvir and Feiglin. At 35,000 a pop, they constitute about 196,000 votes.

No vote must be left behind.

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