Religion Magazine

Habayit Hayehudi's Problem

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I am not a big fan of making predictions, about anything let alone elections. Unless the person making the predictions is an acclaimed prophet, it is just a guess and I see no point in wasting time on it. If the person is a prophet, I'd prefer the lottery numbers than knowing, as in this case, how many seats any given political party will win.
So, I rarely read these predictions. On Shabbos I read the predictions published by Shmuel Sackett of Manhigut Yehudit. The predictions are as much a waste of time as anybody else's predictions are, but he had one interesting point among his chatter that I think is relatively close to being on the mark, and it was something I had felt but hadn't put my finger on until I saw his comment and then realized it.
In his predictions, Shmuel Sackett says regarding Habayit Hayehudi:
 Bayit Yehudi, led by Naftali Bennett is really surprising me. When the campaign started I thought they would do very well and finish with 18-20 seats but as the campaign progressed the polls kept showing them slipping further down the line. I am not sure why this has happened except for the possibility that he lost many seats to Eli Yishai’s “Yachad” party and also that he is not saying anything new. When he ran for the Knesset the first time, in 2013, he was new on the scene, brought life to the dead and boring “Mafdal/NRP” party and was a refreshing force on the political map but now – two years later – he is saying the same thing and simply no longer exciting. On one hand, Bennett’s campaign is very good with a strong message and well-targeted to his audience but he has not succeeded in breaking out of his comfort zone and due to the reasons stated above it looks as though he will not gain even one additional seat and will remain at 12. This is what the polls are showing, although I give him one more and my official prediction for Bayit Yehudi is 13.

It is true that Habayit Hayehdui has lost seats to Yachad and to Likud, along with small amounts to other parties. I think Sackett is correct in saying the main reason is because they have not offered anything new (besides not apologizing, which is nice but not much of a platform). In 2013 they were a renewed party. They brought something new to the table and attracted voters from other parties (largely Likud but also from others) because of it. Now they are just back to being an old party, and its voters are either going back to their old parties or getting excited about other new parties and ideas, if they did not completely identify with Habayit Hayehudi's.
What say you?
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