If elections were held today

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A poll carried out in the wake of Defense Minister Ehud Barak breaking up the left-wing Labor Party shows that if elections were held today, the political landscape would look pretty much as it does today, and Benjamin Netanyahu would still be prime minister.

After Barak left Labor to form his own party and the rest of Labor subsequently pulled out of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, opposition leader Tzipi Livni insisted that elections must be advanced, despite the fact that Netanyahu’s government still holds a thin majority in the Knesset.

Carried out by the Dahaf polling agency on behalf of Yediot Ahronot, the survey of 501 adult Israelis showed that Livni likely wouldn’t be too pleased with the results of early elections.

According to the poll, Netanyahu’s Likud would lose one seat in early elections, going from 27 to 26 mandates. Livni’s Kadima would lose two seats, going from 28 to 26. Both Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas would lose one seat, dropping to 14 and 10 mandates, respectively.

The Labor Party without Barak would fall from 13 mandates to just eight, and Barak’s new party would win only two seats.

What that means is that just as with the previous election, even though Netanyahu would not score an outright victory, the make-up of the top five parties would leave him as the only leader capable of forming a ruling coalition.

At any rate, 65 percent of respondents rejected Livni’s call for early elections, and said the vote should be held as scheduled two years from now.

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