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Final 3 TV polls before election all show Netanyahu bloc one seat short of majority

Surveys ahead of Tuesday election – the fifth since 2019 – suggest deadlock set to persist, but smallest shift in favor of opposition leader could enable him to form coalition

Source: Times of Israel

The final television network polls before the November 1 election have all predicted that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious-right bloc will fall just short of a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Surveys aired by Channel 12 and Channel 13 news on Friday, and the Kan public broadcaster on Thursday, all gave the Netanyahu-led bloc 60 seats, meaning the smallest shift in favor of the opposition leader could enable him to form a coalition and return to power. The surveys all gave the current coalition parties 56 seats, and the unaligned Arab-majority Hadash-Ta’al 4 seats, consistent with previous polls aired over the past several weeks.

Israel’s election law bars the publication of surveys in the immediate days before the vote. Israeli polls are not always reliable, but influence both politicians and voters.

Netanyahu’s Likud was projected to win 30-31 seats, and be the largest party, in the three polls.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid was seen set to win 24-27 seats, while the far-right Religious Zionism, aligned with Netanyahu’s bloc, was predicted to be the third largest party in the Knesset with 14-15 seats.

Religious Zionism — a far-right alliance headed by former minister Bezalel Smotrich, along with MK Itamar Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit and the anti-LGBT Noam faction — has recently shot up in the polls, largely at Likud’s expense, though Netanyahu’s party has made gains at the expense of its partners in the final run-up to past elections.

National Unity followed Religious Zionism in all three polls, getting 10-11 seats. The center-right slate is made up of Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope, and political newcomer Gadi Eisenkot, who like Gantz is a former IDF chief of staff.

Gantz has touted himself as a candidate for prime minister but appears to have slim options for cobbling together a coalition.

Ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, which are also allied with Netanyahu, consistently polled at 8 and 7 seats respectively seats in all three polls.

The right-wing secularist Yisrael Beytenu was predicted to garner 5-6 seats; the center-left Labor 5-6; the left-wing Meretz 4-5; and Ra’am 4.

Ayelet Shaked’s Jewish Home and the Arab nationalist Balad failed to pass the 3.25% electoral threshold in all three polls, although Balad was seen at 2.7% in the Channel 13 survey.

The Kan public broadcaster predicted on Thursday that Likud will get 31 seats; Yesh Atid, 24; Religious Zionism, 14; National Unity, 11; Shas, 8; UTJ, 7; Yisrael Beytenu, 6; Labor, 6; Meretz, 5; Hadash-Ta’al 4, and Ra’am 4.

Balad and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s Jewish Home were predicted to win only 2.2% and 2% of the vote, respectively.

The poll was conducted among 1,301 people and has a margin of error of 2.7%.

The Channel 13 poll broadcast Friday predicted that the Likud will win 30 seats; Yesh Atid, 27; Religious Zionism, 15; National Unity, 10; Shas, 8; UTJ, 7; Labor, 6; Yisrael Beytenu, 5; Meretz, 4; Hadash-Ta’al, 4; and Ra’am with 4.

Shaked’s Jewish Home was predicted to win 2% of the vote, and Balad 2.75%.

The poll surveyed 802 people and has a margin of error of 3.5%.

Finally, the Channel 12 poll on Friday predicted that the Likud will garner 31 seats; Yesh Atid, 25; Religious Zionism, 14; National Unity, 11; Shas, 8; UTJ, 7; Yisrael Beytenu, 6; Labor, 5; Meretz, 5; Hadash Ta’al, 4; and Ra’am, 4.

Shaked’s Jewish home was predicted to win 1.5% of the vote, and Balad 1.6%.

The Channel 12 poll surveyed 1,007 people and has a margin of error of 3.1%.

The upcoming election — the fifth since April 2019 — was called after the collapse in June of then-prime minister Naftali Bennett’s power-sharing government with Lapid, which survived for a year after just managing to unseat Netanyahu in June 2021.

Bennett subsequently retired, handing the premiership to Lapid and control of his party to his long-time No. 2 Shaked, who has since distanced herself from the coalition while continuing to serve as interior minister.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving premier, is seeking to regain power as he stands trial on corruption charges, while Lapid looks to retain the premiership after making the jump from journalism to politics a decade ago.