June 16, 2013
Israel Poll Trends: A Weakening Coalition
Our Israel Poll Trends tracker is back, and it is still your best choice for following Israeli political polls, and understanding the twists and turns of Israeli political trends.
So what does it feature?
The polls and the numbers, updated as they are published. Since this is no longer election season, the time between polls is much longer than it was last year (less work for us!), but they still come in from time to time, and will be added to the table.
But we wanted to do two things:
1. Simplify – You only get the numbers for the top five parties.
2. Illuminate – We also present you with the numbers and composition of the following five political "blocs". Note that some parties appear in more than one bloc, and some parties appear in the polls but have no current Knesset representation. Also note that the current coalition is made out of three blocs – right, center, religious – but doesn't include all the parties in these blocs (Haredi Shas and Yahadut Hatora and centrist Kadima were all left out, Strong Israel and Am Shalem didn't get into the Knesset).
To see what the polls predict for each of the blocs – and for the main parties – you'd have to look at our tracker (here), but here are a couple of headlines:
Yesh Atid, led by Finance Minister Yair Lapid is getting weaker. That's not surprising as Lapid is the man in charge of budgetary cuts and tax hikes. In fact, that's the reason why Prime Minister Netanyahu insisted on sending Lapid to Finance (and not to the Foreign Ministry, where he wanted to go) – to make him unpopular and put his plans for future succession of Netanyahu on ice. And while Yesh Atid in weakening, the Labor Party might be making gains (according to the last two polls). Tzipi Livni's Hatnua is also getting weaker, and Likud (Likud-Beiteinu) is also suffering.
All in all, the members of the coalition, having to deal with the gloomy budget, have all the reasons in the world to keep it running, as most of them would lose mandates if elections were held today. Thus, don't be impressed with the occasional strife within the coalition. It is not a highly functioning coalition, and problems are many, but the interest of all its members will keep them together for now.