Thursday, February 05, 2009

18th Knesset Elections 2009 - Predictions

In less than a week, on Tuesday, February 10, Israelis will elect the 18th Knesset. There has been quite a bit of movement in the polls over the last week. The latest results are showing a tight race between Likud and Kadima, and a surge in support for Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party.  Candidates on the various party lists are competing for 120 seats. Here are my predictions for the elections results.

Likud: 29
Kadima: 23
Yisrael Beitenu: 16
Labor: 15
Shas: 10
United Torah Judaism: 6
Meretz: 5
National Union: 5
Jewish Home: 2
Hadash: 4
Ra'am Ta'al: 3
Balad: 2

I see Likud widening its lead over Kadima again in the last days before the vote. The last poll is tomorrow, it may still predict a close race between the two parties, but Kadima's lead is heavily dependent on quiet. I am predicting that Lieberman will fall slightly from the current projections but that his party will still beat Labor. 

The next order of business will be to determine who will sit in the government and in what capacity. A key question will be whether the Labor Party will give Ehud Barak the go-ahead to join a coalition with Netanyahu and Lieberman. I think he will twist the right arms to be able to maintain his tenure in the Defense Ministry. According to the polls, there is a possibility that a secular coalition comprising Likud, Kadima, Yisrael Beitenu, and Labor could rule without Shas or UTJ. 

Also interesting to consider - the candidate lists for LaborYisrael Beitenu, Kadima, and Likud. These will be important to peruse as the cabinet seats are divvied up.

5 comments:

yaman said...

What are your predictions on coalitions?

noam said...

the last polls show Israel Beitenu getting even stronger. i think Balad won't pass the 2% threshold.
(check out the polls avg: http://www.promisedlandblog.com/?p=497)

as for the coalition, it is clear that Netanyahu will take all the right in but the "Ihud Leumi" party in. Barak will meet problems in his party in entering the government. my guess is that if Labor falls below 15 MKs, it will stay in the opposition. in that case, Kadima will enter the coalition.

Anonymous said...

in the end the right wing war mongers who believe that the 'arabs have to be transfered'[ethnic cleansed] will win the day.
extremism always revails in israel.

Amos said...

Thanks, Noam. I saw those polls as well. I have no science behind me, just an intuition. I think we will be moderately surprised.

Yaman, I'm pretty sure Barak will be in the next government. About coalitions ... that might be hard to predict even if we had the results.

Does anyone think a Netanyahu-Livni-Barak-Liberman coalition is a possibility? I wonder how long such a monster would last.

Zachary Goelman said...

Amos,
A Likud-Kadima-Labor-YB coalition seems theoretically possible, but I doubt Bibi could pull that off. He's not much of a uniting figure. That kind of a mash-up requires both left- and right-wing alternates if either Labor or YB quit over the government's direction.
On another note, I always forget that Mafdal disappeared from the scene, scattered among NU and Jewish Home. Remember the good ol' days when Mafdal and Labor scratched each others' backs?