JERUSALEM, Israel – As Israelis prepare to celebrate the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles), the country’s politicians and pollsters are cautiously gearing up for a momentous election season.
Election day is November 1st, just a little more than three weeks away, and the parties are trying to make their case without spoiling the holiday atmosphere – no easy task.
The latest poll shows that if the election for the Knesset were held today, the bloc led by Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would win 61 seats, just enough to form a government. The center-left bloc headed by Prime Minister Yair Lapid would have 55 seats.
Netanyahu’s Likud Party led the field with 32 seats, a gain of two seats from the previous survey. Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party was second with 23 seats, followed by Religious Zionism at 14, National Union Party (Benny Gantz) with 12, the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party with 8, and the religious United Torah Judaism Party with 7 seats. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party had 6 seats, followed by two parties on the left, Labor and Meretz with 5 seats. Two Arab parties, Ra’am and Hadash-Ta’al, each would have 4 seats, just above the electoral threshold to enter the Knesset.
Panel Politics conducted the survey of 705 respondents last week for the newspaper Ma’ariv. It has a +/- error margin of 3.7 percent.
Netanyahu was briefly hospitalized at the beginning of Yom Kippur, after suffering chest pains at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. He was released quickly, and said the tests went well.