The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Latest Maariv Poll
Maariv's website (in Hebrew) has published its latest election poll. According to the poll, Kadima will receive 35 Knesset seats, and a bloc of Kadima, Labor (20) and Meretz (5) would receive 60 seats. The right-wing and religious parties, consisting of Likud (17), Yisrael Beiteinu (11), Shas (10), NRP-National Union (9), and United Torah Judaism (5), will receive a combined 52 seats according to the poll.
The Arab parties would receive 8 seats, and while they won't be part of a coalition government, they would support a government with left-wing policies in the Knesset.
It's no secret that polls typically underestimate the support for the right and the religious, so it remains possible that those parties could gain a majority of Knesset seats. Planning for that possibility, Binyamin Netanyahu has been putting out feelers to the other parties on the right in an effort to form a narrow coalition after the government. Such a government, however, would not serve the interests of the right. It would fall upon any dispute in the coalition, and Netanyahu would be under constant pressure from his left and from the international community.
Therefore, even under the scenario in which Kadima and the left-wing don't gain 61 seats, I'd expect for Kadima to at least initially form the next government, with Shas and UTJ part of the coalition, albeit leaving Kadima too weak to carry out its plan of a massive unilateral withdrawal in Judea and Samaria.
At this point, a government initially led by a weakened Ehud Olmert is probably the best-case scenario for those on the political right.