Netanyahu says the elections will be tight as his Likud party is running even with opposition party Blue and White according to polls.
By World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the elections are going to be “very close.”
Netanyahu cast his vote on Tuesday in Jerusalem with his wife, Sara, alongside. He urged Israelis to exercise their right to vote and said, “I can confirm to you this morning that they are very close.”
Polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party running neck-and-neck with its main rival, Blue and White.
The prime minister, who is seeking his fifth consecutive term in office, is facing a stiff challenge from retired IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, a political newcomer who rocketed to the leadership of the opposition despite his lack of political experience.
Polls show that both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, forcing them into a potential unity government.
A third party, Israeli Beiteinu, which polls show gaining 9-to-10 Knesset seats, could play the role of kingmaker. Its leader, Avigdor Liberman, says he wants a unity government.
However, Blue and White says it won’t sit in the same government with Netanyahu, who is facing several corruption cases and possible indictment pending hearings that are set to convene following the elections.
This has led to speculation that Netanyahu may be forced out of the Likud should he fail to win the elections and form a government. Likud leaders have denied such a possibility. Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is considered a potential heir to Netanyahu, said “Attempts to split the Likud leadership will not work.”
Netanyahu was forced to dissolve parliament and call for reelections after he failed to form a majority coalition in April. It is the first time in Israel’s history that the country has held back-to-back elections.
President Donald Trump, an ally of Netanyahu, weighed in on Monday about the elections, also predicting it would be close.
“Big election tomorrow in Israel,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s going to be close… it’s a 50/50 election.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.