The latest surveys conducted by Israel’s public broadcasters, Kan and Channel 13 News, reveal that the rightwing Hredi bloc would garner the majority of Knesset, an unprecedent rise for the ultraorthodox party.
Two new opinion polls declared on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would lose its electoral prowess should another election be held in Israel now.
Conducted by the Kan Public broadcaster, as well as Channel 13 News, the surveys concluded that the far-right Yamina alliance would enjoy a significant increase in its vote share at the expense of Netanyahu's Likud.
Speaking to TRT World, Selim Han Yeniacun, an expert on Israeli politics, said in light of the far-right’s sudden rise and its current centre stage prominence in Israeli politics, it is becoming clear that neither Netanyahu, nor his rival-turned-ally, Benny Gantz's political visions have resonated with many right-leaning voters
“In case of evaluating the issue from right wing parties’ aspect, Israel is not having good times because of its protective and security based politics," said Yehiacun, who has authored two books on the Palestine-Israel conflict in Turkish.
"Amid the pandemic, Netanyahu failed to realise its occupation plan of Palestinian lands and disappointed his supporters. Besides, his alliance with Benny Gantz who was accused by him of not loving Israel for a year also disappointed the right-wing".
As the polls suggest, the rightwing Haredi bloc would gain the majority in Knesset by having 63 seats, while the centre-left bloc would take 49, and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu will have eight, according to the Channel 13 poll.
Public broadcaster Kan also gave the highest seat tally of 62 to the far-right and 51 to the centre-left. Like Channel 13, Kan also gave eight seats to Yisrael Beiteinu.
Both polls resulted in giving Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud a decisive lead. Likud gets 29 seats according to Channel 13, and 30 as per Kan’s poll. Led by the former Defence Minister, Naftali Bennett, the Yamina party which previously won seven seats in Knesset, would increase the number of its seats by 12 - this according to Channel 13’s poll and 8 according to Kan.
A Turkish expert on Israel, Yeniacun, said the new alternatives — referring to the right-wing parties — have a potential to increase their votes because of Netanyahu and Gantz’s recent activities.
"The representatives of the ‘New Right’, by taking its previous name ‘Yamina’ known as extremist right bloc will increase its votes seriously,” explains Yeniacun.
In May, Yamina was quick to announce that the party refused to join the governing coalition, calling it a "left-wing government headed by Netanyahu." The party's statement said that it was preparing for "the day after Netanyahu."
On the other hand, according to Yeniacun, Netanyahu is not the only one who has been seriously wounded. Benny Gantz, who destroyed the Blue and White bloc for the sake of allying with Netanyahu, has been, too.
“Despite his assertive election campaign promises, he has a dim performance in politics. In addition, it's uncertain how he will perform when he takes over the prime ministry position after two years,” says Yeniacun.
When it comes to Gantz’s current position in Israeli politics, Channel 13’s poll suggests that Yesh Atid-Telem, a faction which broke away from Kahol Lavan after its party leader, Benny Gantz, decided to join a coalition alongside Netanyahu, also received 19 seats. According to Kan's poll, the party is ahead of Yamina, with 17 seats.
Both of the polls concluded that the Joint List of Arab-majority parties remains in third position, and according to Channel 13’s survey, the Joint List is projected to have 15 seats, while Kan’s poll suggests 16.
Current Defence Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, which won 33 seats in the elections in March, also dropped below its former partners by gaining 8 projected seats from Channel 13 and 12 from Kan.
Channel 13’s survey was led by Professor Camil Fuchs by looking at the results from 704 respondents. Among them, 604 were Jewish and 100 were Arab - there was a reported margin of error of 3.9 percent.
The Kan poll was conducted online and by the Kantar Group, and it surveyed a sample representative of the adult population of Israel. It included 559 respondents, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.