Latest polls: Zionist Union maintains lead, but Netanyahu still in position to form government

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Latest polls: Zionist Union maintains lead, but Netanyahu still in position to form government
By ARIK BENDER, NOAM AMIR/MAARIV HASHAVUA/03/13/2015

Polls commissioned by Israeli television on Friday show that the Zionist Union maintains a four-seat lead over Likud if parliamentary elections were held today.

The results of the polls were reported by Channels 2 and 10 on the final weekend of the campaign.

With just four days left before Israelis head to the ballot boxes, it appears that the Zionist Union is poised to capture the largest number of seats – 26, according to Channel 2. The Likud, meanwhile, is treading water with just 22 seats.

The Joint Arab List is predicted to grab the third-largest number of votes, good enough to equal 13 seats in parliament, according to the Channel 2 survey. Yesh Atid, the centrist-secularist party headed by former finance minister Yair Lapid, garners 12 seats, while the religious-Zionist Bayit Yehudi faction gets just 11 seats, a far cry from its stronger showing in polls earlier during the campaign.

Moshe Kahlon Kulanu is pegged to win eight seats, while Shas trails with seven seats. United Torah Judaism is polled at six seats, with both Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu winning five.

The Channel 10 poll showed similar figures, with ZU holding a 24-20 edge over Likud.

Despite the ZU advantage, it appears that Netanyahu is still in the best position to stay in the Prime Minister’s Office by virtue of the relative ease with which he could cobble together a coalition with his “natural” partners – Bayit Yehudi; the ultra-Orthodox parties of Shas and UTJ; Kulanu; and Yisrael Beytenu.