Jewish Journal


January 17, 2013

The 2013 campaign: 5 days, 34 mandates, 67 votes, 8 lost - or maybe not



Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid: eyed by Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

Election Day is just a few days away, so focusing our attention mostly on Israeli politics seems natural – if exhausting at times. What we have for you today are two things:



The updated Poll Trend Tracker (by Prof. Camil Fuchs) and its weekly analysis of the polling situation. This is the one before last prior to Election Day, as Israeli law doesn't allow for polling in the last three days of the campaign, hence the last batch of polling will come out Friday. In the last couple of days, we've seen some polls that contradict one another, and our aggregated graph is probably more reliable than any specific poll – take a look at it and see where we are. There's also an interesting nugget included in the analysis concerning the "lost" mandates - people voting for parties that do not cross the threshold and hence don't get any seats in the Knesset.



I wrote a longer and more detailed piece for the print edition in which I try to give an overview of the 2012-2013 campaign. Here's one paragraph – and of course you can read the whole thing in print, or on the print side of the website (here):

In truth, the best way to write the story of the 2013 election is with an eye to the public — a public that will go to the polls even when everyone knows that it is all much ado about nothing. Netanyahu will be prime minister again. He’ll have to establish a coalition and isn’t likely to abandon his “natural” allies on the right, nor the religious parties. Netanyahu needs his bloc, and would like to add Lapid’s or Livni’s parties or both to the coalition (Labor already announced its unwillingness to join a Netanyahu coalition, and Yacimovitz would need a very good excuse to be able to flip-flop on such a matter). The problem for Netanyahu, then, is obvious: Lapid and Livni both have party members who are very critical of the prime minister’s presumed foot-dragging on the peace process — but his allies on the right, especially the Zionist-religious Habayit Hayehudi are all about preventing Netanyahu from going in the direction of a peace process of the sort that we’ve seen in the past (the party supports annexation of 60 percent of the West Bank). So the likely conclusion would be one of two choices: Netanyahu will either be forced to head a right-religious coalition, which will make him very uneasy and is likely to result in a lot of international pressure and an early date for yet another round of elections. Or, alternatively, Netanyahu will somehow find a way to broaden his coalition, but it will not be a stable political marriage of opposite worldviews, and, yes, it is likely to result in a lot of international pressure and an early date for yet another round of elections.

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