If Elections are Held Today: New Poll Predicts Rise of Right, Demise of Center in Israel

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the Knesset inauguration. (Photo: via Twitter)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

According to a public opinion poll, released by Israel’s Channel 13 on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, the Likud, is exhibiting strength ahead of Israel’s upcoming general elections scheduled for March. 

The elections will be the fourth general elections to be held in Israel in less than two years, an unprecedented phenomenon even per Israel’s unstable and contested political landscape. 

According to the poll, it is projected that Likud will emerge as the winner with 31 seats in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). It will be followed by the newly-founded New Hope party, established last month by former prominent Likud member, Gideon Sa’ar, which is expected to win 16 seats. 

Yesh Atid is also projected to win 16 seats, a significant achievement if the numbers remain unchanged. 

According to the poll, the right-wing Yamina party is likely to win 13 seats, while united Arab majority parties, running again under the ‘Joint List’, are projected to only win 10 seats, a significant decline from their earlier showing in the previous elections. 

While the Likud would emerge victorious if elections were to be held today, this is hardly good news for Netanyahu, who continues with his strenuous struggle to hold on to power for as long as possible. 

In its reading of the poll numbers, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz concluded that,

“The bloc of parties who have sworn not to sit in a government headed by Netanyahu is projected to win 65 seats, while the bloc of parties that supports Netanyahu is slated to win 45 seats.”

Most significant in the poll results is that Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, which until the last general elections proved to be the Likud’s greatest rival, is projected to win merely 4 seats. This could possibly signal the demise of Israel’s political center for years to come. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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