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Poll shows Israel’s third election in a year will continue political stalemate

January 9, 2020 at 11:21 am

Israelis cast their votes during the Israeli legislative elections, at a polling station in Tel Aviv on 17 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s third election in a year is set to continue the longstanding political stalemate, according to the results of a new poll conducted for Israeli news site Walla.

According to the poll, as things stand Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) are set to win the largest number of seats (35), two more than Likud’s 33.

The Joint List would win 13 seats, while Shas, Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, and United Torah Judaism would all secure eight seats each.

The poll gave the New Right Party six seats, Labor five seats, and Meretz four.

Overall, this would leave the right-wing/ultra-Orthodox bloc with 55 seats, and the centre/opposition bloc with 44 seats, excluding the Joint List and kingmaker Lieberman’s party.

The poll also asked respondents for their voting preferences in the case of a number of party list mergers, which are rumoured to be on the table ahead of the 14 January deadline for submissions.

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In this scenario, Blue and White gains 34 seats, still two ahead of Likud on 32 seats.

The Joint List remains with 13, Shas rises one mandate to 9 seats, while Yisrael Beiteinu and United Torah Judaism also both remain on eight seats each.

A Labor/Meretz merger would secure nine seats – the same total as the two would get combined when running separately.

On the right, meanwhile, a coalition of the New Right Party along with Jewish Home/Jewish Power and the National Union – who otherwise fall below the electoral threshold – would win eight seats.

These results, however, would produce a similarly split Knesset, with neither natural bloc securing the minimum seats required to form a coalition.