This week's graph makes the gaps between the right and left blocs a little narrower, but still wide enough for us to assume that another Netanyahu coalition is inevitable. It was anecdotally intriguing to have Netanyahu`s supposed Likud-right-religious at projected 70 seats last week. However, the current 68-52 advantage should be sufficient to guarantee Netanyahu the victory, and some room for maneuver in future coalition talks. As we have already hinted, the interesting question for the day after the elections is the one about the way the coalition is constructed. Will Netanyahu just build on his home base majority of right wingers, or will he make a concerted and successful effort to broaden and "centralize" his coalition by luring in one (or more) parties to his left?
Take a look at Prof. Camil Fuchs` updated graph, followed by some more comments:
Not a dull moment in the pre-election period: We had unexpected mergers between parties, new parties appeared while knights in shining armor (really, more like knights with shining bald pates) decided to stay on the sideline. We had a small war in Gaza and the vote in the UN on Palestinian semi-statehood, and the ensuing government decision to issue building permits on E-1 despite the world’s uproar. And in the last couple of days we've had the Lieberman affair: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the strong man in the government, resigned after an indictment on relatively minor charges of fraud and breach of trust (minor - relative to the charges investigated and dropped for lack of sufficient evidence).
How will these developments affect the polls? We’ll have to wait for next week to begin to see this plays out, since the polls included in this week’s graph were taken prior to Lieberman's resignation. What we do see in the graph is that five weeks before the elections, the estimates for the Right-Religious and the Center-Left blocs are quite stable. The spread between the blocs has diminished slightly and it is now at 16 mandates. Still a lot to catch up on in five weeks.
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