Merged Likud-Jewish Home list would win 40 seats, poll finds

Running together, Netanyahu’s and Bennett’s parties would be the largest Knesset faction by far

By Stuart Winer, TOI

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett during a Knesset plenum session, July 29, 2013. (photo credit: Flash90)

A joint campaign list of the ruling Likud party and Jewish Home would win 40 seats in the coming elections, far ahead of the rival Labor-Hatnua joint Zionist Camp list, a Knesset Channel published Tuesday found.

Running independently, Likud, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, polled at 23 seats while the national-religious Jewish Home party, led by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, came in with 16 slots in the survey. The poll found that the two would gain an extra seat by uniting to pull further ahead of the Zionist Camp, which polled at 24 seats.

The extra seat for the united list would likely come at the expense of former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, which would drop from eight to six seats if there was a merger, and/or the Shas party, which would drop from five to four seats, the survey found.

The Zionist Camp, formed by uniting the Labor party led by Isaac Herzog with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party, would neither gain nor lose from a possible joining of the two leading right-wing parties.

Elections for the 20th Knesset are scheduled for March 17, but parties must submit their final campaign lists by the end of January.

Several reports in recent days have suggested that Likud and Jewish Home might consider running together, although Netanyahu has not commented on the idea, and Bennett said over the weekend that his party intends to run alone.

A merged Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list won 31 seats in the 2013 elections; that partnership was terminated last summer by Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman.

The full poll findings with a merged Likud-Jewish Home list: Likud-Jewish Home, 40 seats (compared to 29 in outgoing Knesset); Zionist Camp, 24 (21); Yesh Atid, 11 (19); United Arab List, 11 (11); United Torah Judaism, 7 (7); Meretz, 6 (6); Ha’am Itanu, 6 (2); Kulanu, 6 (0), Yisrael Beytenu, 5 (13), and Shas, 4 (10).

A Teleseker poll, published by Walla on January 21, also positing a joint Likud-Jewish Home list, found the seats being divvied up as follows: Likud-Jewish Home, 37; Zionist Camp, 25; United Arab List, 11; Yesh Atid, 9; Shas, 9; United Torah Judaism, 8; Kulanu, 8; Yisrael Beytenu,8; and Meretz, 5.

January 21, 2015 | 4 Comments »

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  1. ArnoldHarris Said:

    The back-swing is that there is open talk in both houses of Congress of possibly having enough Democrats aboard to override a presently expected veto by President Obama of action by the Congress to enforce harsh penalties against Iraq because of their nuclear threats. If that takes place, and most Republicans seriously hope it shall, then the first Congressional override of one of Obama’s numerous vetoes would have been engineered by a hostile Congress with the obvious assistance of none other than Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.

    I think a veto proof majority is there in the Senate — 54 Republicans, plus Jewish Democrats Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Wyden, Cardin, Blumenthal and whatshisname in Minnesota. (Sanders is Jewish but so far left that he will not defy the President.) I think you can also count on Gillibrand and of course Menendez to override the veto, plus 6-8 Senators in either battle ground states or where there are sizable Jewish populations.

    The House is more problematic. A large number of House Democrats are black and Hispanic, and are from very safe districts. With one or two exceptions, they are far-left, and to put it bluntly, anti-Semitic. They never vote to support Israel and believe that Hamas is a bunch of Freedom Fighters. In other words, they are not of European ancestry but view the Middle East like the Euros do.

  2. A single action in the Congress of the United States today could well set the stage for a major boost on behalf of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Likud party that he now more strongly than ever controls.

    I am referring to a written invitation sent by Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to Prime Minister Netanyahu, inviting him to come to Washington in February to address a joint session of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, on the topic of the threats of Islamic terrorism in this country and of the need to compel Iran to end its drive to develop nuclear weapons that would threaten not only Israel but also most of the Sun’a Arab target societies in the Middle East with which the Shia Iranians have been in conflict for the past 1300 years.

    Many foreign leaders are invited to address one or both house of the United States Congress. But what makes this particular invitation so different is that the Congress totally bypassed the President of the United States in making the invitation. That’s just one fore-swing of a very powerful political baseball bat in this country.

    The back-swing is that there is open talk in both houses of Congress of possibly having enough Democrats aboard to override a presently expected veto by President Obama of action by the Congress to enforce harsh penalties against Iraq because of their nuclear threats. If that takes place, and most Republicans seriously hope it shall, then the first Congressional override of one of Obama’s numerous vetoes would have been engineered by a hostile Congress with the obvious assistance of none other than Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.

    Netanyahu doesn’t really have to do very much to push all this to fruition. The Republicans, who starting this week solidly control both houses of Congress, are itching to take down this particular president, who, almost more than any US president since Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has tended to rule by presidential decree rather than by consultation with Congress. Before all this is over, he may be compelled to regret the day he ever started down that road.

    What could all this mean in terms of Israel’s coming election? Unless Netanyahu is some sort of fool, which I think not, he can hardly avoid being the star player in this drama which is now unfolding not only in Washington, but probably also in Jerusalem. And from the news I am reading today, I think this could well turn into a sizeable bounce just weeks before the upcoming Knesset election in March 2015.

    So maybe — just maybe — Likud, HaBayit Yehudi, and the Jewish religious parties will not find it necessary to kiss the political buttholes of Kulanu and whatever remains of Yisrael Beitenu.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  3. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    You and I know its not going to happen. Netanyahu and Bennett can’t stand each other and BB’s wife Sarah would veto such a merger. Plus, its not the sort of post-election coalition Netanyahu wants to build.

  4. Slowly but surely the pollster farm is edging to actually reporting a semblance of the truth.
    The cumulative poll has not changed much.
    Likud 24
    Jewish Home 19
    Livni-Hertzog 18
    Islamic camp 11
    Lapid 9
    UTL 8
    United 7
    Israel our Home 7
    meretz 7
    Shas 6
    Otzmah 3-4

    The poll is solely a local effort and may or may not correlate with a full cumulative poll covering all of Eretz Israel.