Friday, March 13, 2015

Israel election

This coming Tuesday, Israelis go to the polls to elect their government.

Mostly stable polls have shown a late swing towards the centre left. Polls also indicate that the most solid support is for the right.

In the last Ontario election, I developed a theory that parties that have less solid support actually do better in the election. So far, in every election I've been able to test this on, this remains the case. If the trend continues, this suggests that two parties in Israel in particular will benefit the most.

In addition, in Quebec elections, Federal and Provincial, late swings have been very significant to the final result. If this also transfers to Israel, it means good things for one bloc in particular.

Taking the most recent poll average, we find the following results:

25 - Union
21 - Likud
13 - Yesh Atid
13 - Joint List
12 - Jewish Home
9 - Kunalu
7 - Shas
6 - UTJ
5 - Meretz
5 - Yisrael Beiteinu
4 - Yachad

However, given the momentum, swings, trends, and vote certainty, I feel the following is a more realistic result:

26 - Union
20 - Likud
16 - Yesh Atid
13 - Joint List
12 - Kunalu
11 - Jewish Home
7 - Shas
6 - UTJ
5 - Meretz
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu or Yachad (only one meets threshold)

This results in a radically different possible list of events than we have seen thus far in the election.

"Natural Allies" the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid end up with a total of 42 seats. With unofficial, or official support from the Arab Joint List, this can be bumped to 55, with Kunalu bringing this to 67 and a majority.
This is by no means a sure thing. No fewer than three people in this arrangement feel entitled to the post of Finance Minister. In addition, there is no guarantee the Arabs will actively back such a government, or, that members of more moderate parties like Kunalu are willing to compromise far enough to mollify the Arabs.
Despite that, the idea of a left-wing government in Israel is more possible today than it has been for the entire election.

Likud and Jewish Home would end up with only 37 seats. Even if the Religious parties are brought along this is only 50. Support from Kunalu could push it over the top. Such a government could prove to be unstable however and we may be back at the polls in a year or two.

Yesh Atid's leader, Yair Lapid, wants to remain Finance Minister. If he wants it badly enough, he might even try his own government by allying with Kunalu's Moshe Kahlon. If the two parties were to come together, and Kahlon were to try for the Premiership, the bloc would have 28 seats. While it would be very hard for them to find the remaining seats they would need for a majority, they might find some unexpected way to cobble it together, Potentially going up to 32 seats with Yisrael Beiteinu, the party might find a way to tear moderates from Likud and Labour and form a government on it's own.

In the end, things have indeed changed. While a week ago a Bibi government seemed all but certain, today, this is no longer the case. While I still say the odds are that Bibi will somehow managed to remain Prime Minister, a bet against that would no longer be a lost cause.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hopeful Netanyahu's reign is at the end, and the polls seem to moving in that direction. You may be right, he could feasible scrape by, but the odds seem against it.

    I do wonder whether Harper and co. will embrace Herzog as much as they have Netanyahu, same with the Republicans. I guess we will find out.

    It's Kulanu, not Kunalu, by the first ay