The latest Dahaf poll’s attempt to create a scenario where the left would be able to form a coalition falls short; however, it did create a scenario where a national unity government would be likely. Dahaf asked the callers to pick a party, then repeated the question including a fictitious party headed by Aryeh Deri, the left-leaning former leader of Shas who was convicted in 2000 of accepting bribes while serving as interior minister and sentenced to three years in jail. According to the poll an Aryeh Deri party would win seven seats, taking two seats each from Kadima, Likud and Shas and one from Yisrael Beitenu. It is surprising that Yishai’s Shas would only lose two seats to Deri, who led Shas to 17 seats in 1999 and has remained popular in the Sephardi ultra-orthodox community. In the Deri scenario the right-wing bloc of Likud-Y.B.-Shas and the three smaller right-leaning parties would capture 58 seats, compared to 50 in the center-left bloc including Deri’s seven seats and the Green Party’s two seats. A national unity government of the three biggest parties, Kadima-Likud-Y.B., would receive 64 seats and would be able to form a coalition.

If elections held today (expressed in Knesset seats), first column with Deri’s party and second column without. Current Knesset seats in [brackets].
28 30 [28] Kadima
21 23 [27] Likud
15 16 [15] Yisrael Beitenu
08 10 [11] Shas
07 07 [08] Labor
06 06 [03] Meretz
06 06 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
05 05 [04] National Union
03 03 [03] Jewish Home/NRP
12 12 [11] Arab parties
02 02 [—] Green party
00 00 [05] Independence led by Ehud Barak
07 — [—] Party headed by Aryeh Deri

Telephone poll of a representative sample of 500 adult Israelis (including
Arab Israelis) carried out by Dahaf for Yediot Achronot the week of 20
February 2011 and published on 25 February 2011.

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