When it became evident the results of September’s elections were a wash for Benjamin Netanyahu, his opponents assumed it was just a matter of time before the embattled prime minister’s luck ran out. The leaders of Kachol Lavan and Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beiteinu both hoped that with impending indictments and diminishing paths to immunity, Netanyahu’s allies would quickly realize he was no longer a viable leader and move to replace him. This seems an even greater foregone conclusion at present given the unprecedented 21-day twilight zone in the Knesset, a period in which any member can nominate themselves for the role of prime minister. Yet, despite the very serious charges brought against Netanyahu only two weeks ago, it seems that, for the time being, few within Likud, except MK Gideon Saar, are in a hurry to throw the prime minister under the bus, and even Saar cannot hope for much success. While Likud will hold a leadership race if a third election is called, Saar is not projected to outperform the incumbent. However, even if the decision of many Likudniks to steadfastly defend Netanyahu under these conditions appears to be a victory for him, it could be a short-lived one.

The Likud’s decision to circle the wagons in the face of such indictments in three corruption cases owes itself to many factors. Unlike Labor, which infamously and routinely throws out its leaders after they fail to deliver at the ballot box, the ruling party’s modus operandi has generally been to maintain a much stricter sense of loyalty. And as Raviv Hecht in Haaretz rightly points out, there is nothing that contributes more to the cause of in-group solidarity than outsiders dictating to Likud members how they should run their internal affairs, particularly when this commentary comes from Kachol Lavan, whose ultimate goal is control of the government at Likud’s expense.

But much of the decision to stick by Netanyahu has been due to the prime minister’s nurturing over many years of a cult of personality, which transformed him into the ultimate guarantor of the state’s security and convinced his supporters that his political survival is inextricably linked to the public’s well-being. In control of most of the party’s organs, Netanyahu successfully warded off any challenges to his rule and reinforced the narrative of being an irreplaceable asset.

Yet this strategy always had a limited shelf life regardless of how long Netanyahu believed he’d be able to maintain his grip over the Likud, even if he had decided to make a graceful exit. Creating a failsafe to argue that his absence would lead to its collapse might have been a great insurance policy in theory, but it proves useless if he cannot govern properly. Despite insisting that he’d be capable of simultaneously running a country—a stressful and harrowing job even under the best of circumstances—while fighting off what will likely be an arduous legal battle, it’s clear to many observers that the prime minister is setting himself up for failure, with his party ultimately paying the price in the long run. Worse still, his unrelenting grip on the premiership and refusal to compromise risks exposing him to the charge, already internalized by his opponents, that his livelihood comes before that of Likud or the state.

Nevertheless, despite the mounting crisis, most Likud members appear reluctant to consider an alternative to their current predicament, even when a solution is starting them plainly in the face: replacing Netanyahu with a more acceptable leader, quickly leading to a national unity government between the two largest parties. With one week to spare, there is still ample time to prevent another round of elections, something no one wants to be blamed for. However, Netanyahu has successfully browbeat party members into standing down from challenging him as Likud leader, both by siccing loyalists on dissenters, and perpetuating the image of himself as an unbeatable foe who, like some horror movie villain, will always return even when it seems he’s on the verge of defeat. As a result, the party cannot deal with what could spiral into a full-on disaster.

It’s always a mistake to predict a hypothetical election result, especially one so far into the future, at least by Israeli standards. There are a number of scenarios that could unfold, impacting the final results of such an election, including an unprecedented security situation or a brand-new configuration of political parties. The Trump administration may also offer another diplomatic gesture as a gift to the prime minister; based on Netanyahu’s call with the U.S. president on Sunday and subsequent meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it appears the Israeli leader is trying to solicit U.S. blessing for Jordan Valley annexation.

So far, the few preliminary polls released in the last few weeks projected results fairly close to the Knesset’s current breakdown, with the right-wing bloc once again short of seats. That’s likely cold comfort for Kachol Lavan, which, if current trends continue, would once again be faced with the same problems of assembling a coalition. But a more recent poll put out by Channel 12 since the announcement of the prime minister’s indictments showed a major sea change, with a Netanyahu-less Likud plummeting in the polls. Taken only days after the attorney general’s announcement, this hardly augurs well for  Likud’s future. Either the party loses its stature, or it continues to be saddled with a leader facing indictments.

In the past, Netanyahu and allies used the tactic of scaremongering their constituents to the polls to great effect. But some right-wing leaders have already begun to voice concerns that another election could be catastrophic for their bloc, and this time, it seems, the panic may be very real. There’s no doubt the prime minister will accelerate his incitement campaign against his perceived enemies and play his victim card to the hilt. However, if a poorly-attended rally last week is any indication, he may not have the numbers to put himself back in power. In fact, future polls may continue to see a downward tick in Likud support as his opponents spend the bulk of the campaign hammering away on his corruption charges. If so, the Likud’s current unwillingness to cut its losses and force oust the prime minister may lead to their banishment, for the first time in over a decade, to the benches of the opposition.