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Knesset polls: Likud slightly down, settler parties gaining momentum

Two new election polls came out yesterday, both telling roughly the same story: the Likud-Beitenu party is losing some voters to the National Religious Party and to Otzma Le’Israel, an extreme faction led by former Kahane man Michael Ben-Ari. Both parties are identified with the settler movement (though settlers are well represented in Likud as well).

According to the last poll, the National Religious Party (Habayit Hayehudi) will be the Knesset’s third largest party following the elections. NRP has enjoyed new momentum since electing Naftali Bennet as its leader. Bennet, former chief of staff for Netanyahu, has launched a successful viral campaign urging Israel to annex Area C, consisting of 60 percent of the occupied West Bank.

The gap between the blocs remains very stable, and Netanyahu’s right-Orthodox bloc leads the center-left one 65-54 in our poll average. So there is no movement of voters in or from Netanyahu’s bloc, but within his coalition there is a clear trend towards the right, which could explain some of the recent extreme statements made by government officials, and Netanyahu’s announcements of new housing projects in the West Bank.

This graph shows the support for Likud vs. the support for the National Religious Party and Otzma Le’Israel since the unification of Likud with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu. There are ups and downs for both parties, but the general trend is clear.

Click here for +972′s Knesset Poll Tracker.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      I’m an extreme leftist, but I like the rightist parties, and support their impending electoral victory for a very simple reason: They – these extreme rightist parties – are the best thing that has ever happened for the Palestinian state. .
      Granted, their views and motives are the opposite of mine and are a complete anathema to every decent Israeli out there. But when their ridiculous ideology crashes up against reality, time and again we see how childish and stupid these people are and how weak and hollow their ideology is.
      .
      I hope Bennet becomes a powerful minister in the next government, just so I can relish in his helplessness when the Obama, Cameron, Merkel and the rest of the world spins him on his bald head like a top and sends him, his party and his constituency straight to the trash bin of history, where they undoubtedly belong.

      Reply to Comment
      • miskatonic92

        As a recent observer of the American debate concerning the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare!), which a portion of the left rejected for falling far short of the single-payer system they wanted, I recognize this mode of thought. Let the flaws in the system become sufficiently apparent, the argument goes, and ultimately we’ll see–because we’ll quite simply NEED–a radical shift in paradigm. Maybe, but it strikes me as sort of callous: the price paid in human suffering, in the meantime, is liable to be really high.

        To be sure, trends identified in this and other recent articles by Noam would seem to indicate that, absent intervention by Hashem, Israel’s fixing to put your theory to the test. Like you, I’m hoping for a good, humane outcome. But I’m really, really disinclined to celebrate the fact that we’ve come to this pass.

        Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell Cohen

        So you’re gonna vote for Bennett? Cool!!!!

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          I’ll probably vote for Hadash. However, I much prefer Likud/Bennet to Avoda/Lapid/Livni – it’s a no-contest as far as I’m concerned.
          .
          Like miskatonic92 said – sometimes, in order to build something good, one must first destroy something that is evil and corrupt. And no one is better at self-destruction than Bibi and his merry band of crazy rightists :-)

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Really then, why would you vote for Hadash? If you had faith in your theory you would be voting, if not actively campaigning, for Bennett.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            I wouldn’t dream of ever voting for right-wing fascists like Bennet or Ben-Ari (or for that matter, Bibi).
            .
            However, I’ll let people like you do the deed that will allow these fools to ascend to the top of the ladder, only to realize how utterly powerless they really are.
            .
            I’ll enjoy seeing chrome-dome Bennet accumulate much sweat in his little kippa.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            So, again, what you are really saying is that you don’t really believe in your own theory. Because if you did then you would find no value whatsoever in voting for Hadash. From everything you write Hadash is not going to have an impact, while a very successful right wing will push the situation into the precise direction you wish it to go. The least you can do to maintain your credibility is to not vote at all.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Bennett walked into an ambush on that one.

            Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            Did we watch the same interview? Despite the hostile, axe to grind attitude of Nissim, Bennett not only kept his cool, and held his own, but turned the tables on Nissim on every ?

            That the media is pouncing on Bennett only means they are scared of his constant rise in mandates and Netanyahu is the most scared of all….

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            We watched the same interview, Bennett walked into an ambush did very well overall. He wasn’t ready for the question that Meshaal asked or didn’t think through the consequences of answering it the way he did (that is, honestly). Likud has blown up the whole siruv pkuda thing which means Bennett is scrambling to deflect and contain instead of being a clean and shiny alternative to the Likud that he was presenting before. I am sure he will recover but this damages the momentum he was building up. I would guess he is going to lose 1 or 2 mandates for this fiasco.

            Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        I am amazed that you don’t see the contradiction in you talking about an ideology crashing up time and time against reality after putting your faith in the international community. Your messianic faith here is not particularly different in form from Bennett’s.

        Reply to Comment
    2. What is sad in this is that the vanguard settlers are being used by the secular right nationalists, and conversely. I suspect the agenda of Settler parties is internal as well as expansionist. They will eventually hit a push-back, but this does not help Bank residents.

      There is going to be more violence if this trend continues. The racial entity logic of the national right, let alone settlers, is so coarse primitive that violence seems inevitable. And, if that comes, I don’t see it being Danny’s, above, failure of the right.

      Reply to Comment
    3. XYZ

      I am “National Religious” or “Religious Zionist” or whatever you want to call it, and the last time I voted for the NRP was 20 years ago. The NRP had a reputation of being “MAPAI with kippot”…a stagnant political machine that lost touch with its popular base, that seemed indifferent to winning elections, so long as the old guard held on to their positions.
      I heard Bennet speak during the summer and he won me over. He talked straight and to the point, no phony emotional appeals and he was honest in saying he couldn’t promise things like a significant reduction in school tuitions which is important for RZ voters who have large families. His views on the Arab-Israeli conflict are the same as mine….admitting there isn’t going to be a peace agreement, searching for a modus-vivendi and strengthening the Jewish settlements in the West Bank which not only are a historical imperative, but which are vital for the the modus-vivendi to be fashioned. I don’t consder him to be a “radical” or Kahanist type.

      I think the reason he has caught the imagination of many people, including non-religious voters, is that he is the youngest person to be elected DEMOCRATICALLY, without a machine vote, to be the head of one of the historical parties of Israel and he swept away the old guard, brining in fresh, new faces, but young people who have already proved themselves in municipal government. He also has two veteran legislators who are familiar with the nuts and bolts of the legislative process, which he himself is new to and I am impressed that he is aware of the need not to just be an “ideologue” but how to you a parliament to advance your agenda while making the required compromises (I have serious doubts whether Moshe Feiglin is aware of this).

      In Europe and the US, young politicians are able to get ahead. Britain has had Prime MInisters in their 40′s in recent years. Old politicians are chucked out if they fail to win. THIS IS NOT TRUE IN ISRAEL. The same old people hang on and on and won’t let young people work their way up. Even MERETZ which claims to be a “young people’s party” has the same oldtimers in power for decades. This is fatal for a healthy political party and political system in general. Young people MUST be made to feel they have someone who represents them and is interested in the future and not just entrenched interests from the past.

      Reply to Comment
    4. sh

      For once I agree with XYZ. Bennett, like him or hate him, tells it straight, or tries to. True, he’s retracted what he said last week – or at least softened it – but when you listen to him, you’re hearing what the real brains of the settler movement and its supporters are thinking. Don’t confuse him with Ben Ari’s lot.

      Reply to Comment

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