Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Today is Israel Election Day - Last Polls and Predictions

Today Israelis are already at the polls.  While initial turnout is reported as slightly low, this is unlikely to remain the case.  First, Israel has one of the very highest voter participation rates of any voluntary voting system in the world.  Second, the election is close and widely felt to be determinative of dramatically different outcomes based on very slight changes in results.

By Israeli law, no polls in the last 4 days may be published leading up to an election.  So here are the FINAL poll results available to the voting public as they choose the next Knesset.

There are two key indicators:

1) Kachol Lavan is consistently polling to take 1-2 more seats than Likkud.  However, as previously explained in my posts, it is Israeli President Reuven Rivin's prerogative to give either Likud (Netanyahu) or Kachol Lavan (Ganz/Lapid) the first crack at forming a governing coalition of 61 votes in the newly elected 21st Knesset.

2) Ra'am-Balad (Beduin/Arab nationalist), Gesher (Orly Levy), Kulanu (Kahlon) and Yisrael Beiteinu (Lieberman/Russian) are all hanging near the 3.25% threshold for inclusion in the Knesset. A minimum of 4 seats is given to parties making the cut this year, but their votes are distributed proportionally among the victor parties if they don't.  Ra'am-Balad would vote to the left, and Yisrael Beiteinu to the right.  Gesher seems to be entirely out of it at this point, but would likely not support Netanyahu.  Kulanu would vote to the right.  Shas, and the other parties, have all established themselves in the polls.  Netanyahu's last minute announcement that he would annex Jewish settlements and towns in the West Bank/Judea-Samaria could take some votes from the far right parties, and could actually hurt him if it drops

Despite that possibility, every poll on April 3-5 showed a right wing coalition forming under Netanyahu as Prime Minister.

The ONLY possibility of a left wing government, by these polls, would be if Yisrael Beitenu AND Kulanu fall below the threshold, while Ra'am-Balad rise above it.  Then the "left" might have a chance at organizing a coalition first - if Rivlin permits it.  This is a highly unlikely scenario.

SUMMARY PREDICTION:  Netanyahu will enter the 21st Knesset with a solid coalition of right wing parties, and will proceed to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank/Judea-Samaria.  The next great challenge to this will be twofold.  First, the Palestinians will receive broad and unified international support against the move, and the forces of "West Bank Boycott" will grow - particularly in Europe, but also in America. Note that the Democratic Party is solidly "two-state solution" still, so this will enter the American Presidential election.  Second, It will become increasingly difficult to simultaneously deny that there is an "occupation" on the one hand, and not allow Palestinians in the West Bank/Judea-Samaria to vote on the other hand.

This may or may not be "inevitable" or "right," depending on your own political view.  The entrenchment of a one state solution, however, will clearly create a long term challenge to Israel's democratic character.  Claims of Apartheid and "Palestinian bantustans" will grow, and while the actual development of the Israeli and South African maps are completely different historically, socially, economically and politically, the visual image of pockets of Palestinian settlement within surrounding Israeli settlement will not go away.

That's it for now.  Let's count the votes and watch the developments in the days/weeks/years ahead.

Bottom Line:  Netanyahu emerges stronger than last time.  Now he just has to worry about his Attorney General's pending indictments.  


Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first. The highest figure in each survey is displayed in bold, and the background shaded in the leading party's colour. In the instance that there is a tie, then both figures are shaded. Parties that fall below the threshold are denoted by the percentage of votes that they received (N%) instead of the seats they would have gotten. When a poll has no information on a certain party, that party is instead marked by a dash (–).
These tables list the polls published from the time that Yisrael Beiteinu left the government coalition in mid-November 2018,[7] until election day.
Note: Political blocs do not necessarily determine the exact makeup of post-election coalitions.
DatePolling firmHadash
MeretzLaborBlue &
Current seats[8]5851811110530N/A35765466
5 AprElection silence starting end of Friday before election day.[9]
5 AprPanel Project HaMidgam/Statnet/Channel 13[10]6451128(2.8%)4428667565466
5 AprSmith/Maariv[11]745929(2.6%)5427566675466
5 AprMaagar Mohot/Radio 103FM[12]77931628667675466
4 AprSmith/Jerusalem Post[13]64592845527456665664
4 AprMidgam/Yedioth Ahronoth[14]7451130(2.2%)5426565575763
4 AprMaagar Mohot/Israel Hayom & i24 News[15]6(2%)81032(2%)6(2%)27666585664
4 AprTNS/Kan[16]846830(2.9%)5(2.4%)31666465664
4 AprMidgam/iPanel/Channel 12[17]7451030(2.6%)5526565575664
4 AprMiskar[18]7451028(2%)(3.18%)(1.2%)31878665466
3 AprPanels Politics/Walla![19]8461030(2.1%)(2.9%)429567565862
2-3 AprDialog/Haaretz[20]7451027(2.8%)5430557565367

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