By Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom—
The prolong electoral crisis is taking its toll on Israeli politics, as a recent poll shows that Likud and the right-wing bloc as a whole will face an uphill battle ahead of the March 2 elections.
The 2020 election campaign was announced on midnight, Wednesday, as the 22nd Knesset dissolved after neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor challenger Blue and White leader Benny Gantz were able to form a coalition.
This will be the first time in Israel’s history that a general election is held for the third time in the span of one year.
A poll commissioned by Israel Hayom found Thursday that were the elections held at this time, Likud would win 31 Knesset seats, placing it second to Blue and White’s 37 mandates.
The Joint Arab List would secure 14 seats, followed by Yisrael Beytenu (8), ultra-Orthodox Sephardi party Shas (8), haredi Ashkenazi party United Torah Judaism (7), Labor-Gesher (6), New Right (5) and the Democratic Union (4).
The National Union, Habayit Hayehudi and far-right Otzma Yehudit parties fail to pass the 3.25% electoral threshold, which translates into four Knesset seats.
These results would give the right-wing bloc 51 Knesset seats to the Left’s 47 – sans the support of Yisrael Beytenu and the Joint Arab List.
Should the Arab parties back Gantz, as they did following the Sept. 17 elections, it would give Blue and White the 61 seats necessary to form a government, effectively unseating Netanyahu.
The poll further examined potential voter turnout and found that only 59% of Israelis “definitely plan to vote.” Some 23% said they were “highly likely” to vote, 3% said they were “inclined” to vote, and 15% of Israelis said they were “unlikely” to vote. Continue Reading…..