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  • Ten post-election, pre-coalition takeaways

    There's no doubt about it - Yair Lapid is the star of these election results. His 19 mandates will most certainly give him and his party a senior position in the next government, likely to be led by Benjamin Netanyahu. But before you go reporting about the upcoming Bibi-Lapid coalition, here are a few post-election and pre-government thoughts. 1) Those crazy coalition talks Just as Lapid’s unexpected surge happened in the last week before the vote (most polls gave him around 11-12 a few weeks before), the coalition talks can also take some twisty curves. Just today, the two arch-rivals,…

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  • Israeli elections round-up: Image of the next Netanyahu government emerges

    Recent attempts to form an 'anti-Bibi' bloc among the centrist parties may very well drive right-wing voters back to the prime minister's hands. One outcome of the unusually short election cycle that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu imposed on the Israeli political system – in an attempt to prevent any serious challenge to his position – is the rapid developments and changes we have been witnessing in the last few weeks. I will deal with some of those issues in this round up, but it is important to note first that nothing too major has actually happened: our poll tracker, which…

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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…

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  • Israeli election polls: Netanyahu losing support to the extreme right

    According to the latest polls, all center and left-wing parties will win fewer seats than in the current Knesset.  A little over a month is left until the Knesset elections, and polls are being published more and more frequently, including six polls published just this weekend. We have updated five of them on our Poll Tracking Page; the sixth violates our house rules – presenting the "Arab Parties" as one bloc – and was therefore disqualified. Here is an average of the polls presented as a pie chart. The blue parties represent the right wing, gray and black are the…

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  • Lieberman's resignation: A small step backwards, a giant leap forward

    Israel's foreign minister will soon be able to put his legal troubles behind him. He will then renew his quest for the premiership from a much more favorable position. Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced yesterday (Friday) that he will resign from his cabinet position due to the attorney general's decision to try him for breach of trust. Lieberman will still be the second name on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list for the elections, due to take place on January 22. This is a major step in Lieberman's effort to solve the most troubling aspect of his political career, namely,…

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  • Polls: Netanyahu is heading toward an easy victory

    Four polls have the right-Orthodox bloc winning between 63 and 65 Knesset seats, making it impossible for any candidate to prevent Netanyahu from securing another term in office.  Four new election polls were released in the last couple of days. (Five if you count Haaretz, but I don't.) They all tell the same story. In fact, it's incredible how consistent the polls are, and how stable they seem. No political maneuvering, nor the recent escalation in the south, has affected the overall picture: Netanyahu's bloc – consisting of ultra-Orthodox parties and the right, has a solid Knesset majority. Bibi will…

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  • A sign of weakness: On the Netanyahu-Lieberman deal

    Netanyahu is building his coalition before the elections rather than after them - and at a greater price. Avigdor Lieberman has made a huge step on his way to becoming the Likud's next leader. A few takeaways from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to run in the next elections under a large, ultra-nationalist bloc consisting of his own Likud party and Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu. 1. The joint bloc is likely to get fewer seats than the two parties could have gotten together if each of them ran on its own, because some voters from each party might be turned…

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