Knesset Jeremy’s Weekly Average – The Israeli Poll of Polls
Knesset Jeremy Weekly Average #8 (week of Jan 18-Jan 24 2015) of 5 polls from 3 polling companies (2 Teleseker, 2 Panels, 1 Smith, 0 Dialog, Midgam, Maagar Mochot, Geocartography, Sarid, TRI, New Wave)
(Last Week in brackets), current Knesset seats in [brackets]
1st 24.4 (24.8)  Labor+Livni
2nd 24.0 (23.2)  Likud
3rd 15.6 (16.2)  Bayit Yehudi
4th 09.6 (09.6)  Yesh Atid
5th 07.6 (08.8) [–] Koolanu
6th 07.4 (07.3)  Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
6th 07.4 (06.6)  Shas
8th 05.8 (06.0)  Yisrael Beitenu
9th 05.4 (05.6)  Meretz
10th 03.4 (03.1)  Ha’am Itanu (Yishai+Chetboun)
11th 11.2 (11.0)  Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al & Balad (not all polls have them united)
12th 00.0 (00.0)  Kadima
69.4 (68.7)  Right-Religious (Parties that have not ruled out a BB coalition)
50.4 (51.2)  Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out a BB coalition)
Changes from week 7 to week 8:
UTJ and Shas are now tied for 6th.
Largest Gains: Likud and Shas both gained 0.8 seats each, Yishai gained 0.3.
Biggest Losses: Koolanu dropped 1.2 seats, Bayit Yehudi lost 0.6., Labor-Livni lost 0.4.
Knesset Jeremy Analysis – Week 8:
1 –Coalition by the numbers: Labor-Livni 24.4, Likud 24.0. Bayit Yehudi 15.6, Meretz 5.4.
Likud cut the average difference to less than half of a seat between them and the Labor-Livni alliance. Both satellite parties took a hit this week. Meretz had hoped their Central Committee election for their MK list would give them a bump similar to the three parties that had open primaries. A possible reason that didn’t happen was Meretz electing five incumbents to the first five spots and a former MK to the 6th slot.
2 – Coalition Building – Herzog’s Problem: The Labor-Livni-Meretz bloc is at 29.8 and Likud-Bayit Yehudi is at 39.6 (without Yishai’s 3.4). Koolanu, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas and UTJ could go with either side; they are unlike Meretz, Bayit Yehudi and Yishai. There are many pundits who rush to place the four parties in a possible Herzog coalition but the four parties have not ruled out a coalition with Netanyahu and will prefer whoever gives them the best deal. Yesh Atid is a different story because Lapid prefers Herzog to Netanyahu, but there are various (longshot) scenarios where Lapid would consider a Netanyahu government over the opposition. The United Arab List might under the right circumstances nominate Herzog as a candidate to form a government to President Rivlin, but they will not vote for a Zionist government in a Knesset vote that requires 61 MKs to form a coalition. The Arabs could act as a safety net in the future by blocking no-confidence motions from the opposition if a coalition party left a future Herzog government.
Herzog’s main problem is not that his Labor-Livni-Meretz bloc is 10 seats behind the Netanyahu-Bennett bloc; rather it is that he has overcommitted himself. The beginning of Herzog’s future government will look like this: Prime Minister Herzog, Foreign Minister Livni, Defense Minister Yadliin, Finance Minister Trachtenberg. Gal-On & Margalit were both promised top portfolios, most likely the Education or Interior for Gal-On & the Economy Ministry for Margalit. Herzog will be expected to give Yachmovich a respectable minister position as well. Herzog does not have much to offer Lapid, Liberman, Kahlon and Deri, considering he is already committed to six top portfolios and he has to deal with a mandatory 18 minister limit that will be enforced this time.
Netanyahu has fewer commitments, has made few promises, and has a larger bloc of loyal votes. Netanyahu is in a great position to offer Kahlon the Finance Ministry, he can easily offer Liberman a top ministry, UTJ will be offered the Chairmanship of the powerful Appropriations Committee again and Shas can return to the Interior Ministry.
However, if the parties that have not ruled out a Netanyahu coalition dip under 61 seats, Netanyahu’s re-election will be impossible and Herzog’s election becomes probable.
3 – The Center: Yesh Atid 9.6, Koolanu 7.6, Yisrael Beitenu 5.8
The center keeps shrinking. Yesh Atid remained steady this week. Tomorrow we should learn of Lapid’s appointments for Yesh Atid’s next Knesset list and the fate of the 18 (of 20) MKs seeking re-election. Koolanu keeps dropping and people are trying to figure out when their campaign will get off the ground. Another week has gone by, so Yisrael Beitenu has lost more support. Liberman assures us that his party will not fall under the new threshold he created. Five Yisrael Beitenu MKs ‘left’ political life willingly, another three MKs were placed in unrealistic spots during the “Liberman massacre” this week, which also placed two MKs in questionable spots. It is possible that Liberman will only be taking 2 of his MKs with him to the next Knesset, assuming he passes the threshold.
4 – Haredim: UTJ 7.4, Shas 7.4, Ha’am Itanu 3.4
The Haredim are most likely going to be in the next government. Netanyahu and Herzog would both prefer to avoid them if possible, but with the current numbers neither will be able to form a government without them. Shas was facing the threshold a few weeks ago and now they are back polling even with UTJ. Yishai’s polling numbers are getting stronger and this week we will learn if Ben-Ari will join him. Yishai is also waiting to see which Shas MKs are placed lower by Deri so that he can move them over to his list.
5 –United Arab List and Kadima
Starting next week all polls will have the United Arab List as one party and we will be able to treat the list as such in all polling. This is most likely the last week we will ever have to poll Kadima. The last party lists will be submitted on Thursday. Few people expect Mofaz to run on his own and he might not run with anyone at all. Kadima, the largest party of the 17th and 18th Knesset’s, the party of Prime Minister’s Sharon and Olmert, led afterwards by Livni and Mofaz will most likely die before the 19th Knesset is over.
6 – Week 9 Preview
The final lists will be presented by all parties before the Thursday night deadline. There will be a lot of ups and downs this week. The polls will begin to make more sense starting next Sunday.