Has the creation of the Likud Beiteinu beast changed the dynamic of the election? Not really, or more accurately, not yet. The joint list is projected to lose a couple of seats give or take, but the rightist bloc is on track to retain its comfortable majority, buffeted by the transfer of votes to parties like Shas, National Union/Jewish Home, and United Torah Judaism.
On the left and center, the balance of power has merely shifted, away from Kadima and Atzma’ut — the parties most associated with the ruling coalition — and to Labor and Yesh Atid. Whether the center-left can actually gain any ground on the right in terms of seats very much depends on the futures of three prominent politicians: Moshe Kahlon; Ehud Olmert; and Tzipi Livni. Neither of these social justice-type politicos have formally declared their intentions, though they have all been engaged in suggestive activities, joint meetings and the like. Expect further movement in the coming days.