Netanyahu Might Not Be Next Prime Minister - Survey

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 |  Israel Today Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could lose his position in the next general election, according to an Israel Channel 2 News poll conducted last week.

The survey found that if the election were held now, Netanyahu’s Likud Party would win 25 seats in the Knesset. But so would the centrist Yesh Atid faction headed by former television personality Yair Lapid (pictured with Netanyahu in 2013).

That marks a loss of five seats from its current count of 30 for Likud, while Yesh Atid, which currently has 11 seats, gained an impressive 14 mandates.

Given those results, the president of Israel would have to carefully determine which party leader had the best chance of forming a stable coalition. And if that leader failed to do so, the other would be given a chance.

And that means the number of seats won by other parties would be extremely important.

In this particular poll, the Joint Arab List won 13 seats (matching its current 13) and the Jewish Home party garnered 11 mandates (up from its current 8). The right-wing Israel Beiteinu increased to 8 seats, while the religious Shas and United Torah Judaism were each given 7.

Considering that the religious parties have vowed never to sit in a coalition with Lapid, he would be unable to form a majority coalition without Netanyahu’s Likud.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, would still be able to form a majority coalition consisting entirely of right-leaning and religious parties, and excluding Lapid.

The biggest loser in the survey was the Labor Party (rebranded as the Zionist Union), which dropped from its current 24 seats to just 11.

If anything, the poll again confirmed that the Israeli public is moving further to the right. Labor and other left-wing parties are no longer seen as the best alternative to Likud.

Most secular left-leaning Israelis today prefer the more centrist positions offered by Yesh Atid, which is something of a repudiation of the overtly liberal and socialist platforms of Labor and parties further to the left.

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