Historic low: Zionist union collapses to single digits in poll

August 7, 2016  

A new poll released Sunday has worrying news for the left-leaning Zionist Union, showing the party sinking to its lowest level ever.

The poll, conducted by Geocartographia for Army Radio included 500 respondents.

According to the survey, the Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog falls to the lowest level shown in any polls since the joint ticket, combing the Labor and Hatnua parties, was formed in 2014.

While the party won 24 seats in 2015, it would lose two-thirds of its strength if elections were held today, falling to just 8 seats. Such a result would be the poorest showing for the Labor Party in history, breaking the previous record of 13 seats won in 2009.

Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog has faced significant pressure from within the party following his comments suggesting the two-state solution was not relevant at this time, as well as his efforts to form a unity government with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The party’s poor showing in polling has only heightened frustrations with Herzog, who will face rivals in Labor Party primaries next summer.

Today’s polls represent a two-seat drop from the last public poll, also conducted by Geocartographia.

In general, the four parties now in the opposition – the Joint List, Meretz, Zionist Union, and Yesh Atid – who today hold 53 seats, would drop by 5 mandates to 48 according to the poll.

The six coalition members, on the other hand, would rise from 67 seats collectively to 72 if elections were held today.

Meretz and the predominantly Arab Joint List parties would maintain their current strength, at 5 and 13 mandates respectively.

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, however, would surge to its highest level ever, doubling its strength from 11 mandates to 22, putting it within striking distance of the Likud.

The Likud would drop 5 seats, falling from 30 to 25. This is an improvement, however, over the party’s performance in the previous Geocartographia poll, which showed Likud sinking to 21 mandates.

The Jewish Home would double its strength, going from 8 seats to 16, the same result shown in the last poll.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu gained slightly in Sunday’s poll, rising from 6 seats held in the present Knesset and projected in the last poll to 7 seats.

The haredi parties also enjoy a significant bump in the poll, rising from 13 seats in the present Knesset – 7 for Shas, 6 for United Torah Judaism – to 18, with UTJ soaring to 11 seats, compared to 7 for Shas, an increase of 3 mandates over the last poll, which showed Shas barely passing the electoral threshold.

In line with prior polls, Sunday’s results show Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu faction losing ground, falling from 10 seats to 6.

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