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February 25, 2020 11:27 am

For Third Time in Row, Netanyahu and Gantz Race Towards an Inconclusive Finish Line

avatar by Dov Lipman / JNS.org

View of an election campaign billboards showing Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud Party Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White head Benny Gantz, in Tel Aviv on Feb. 24, 2020. Photo: Flash90.

JNS.org – Israel has entered the home stretch of its third election within a year, and with polls showing some possible shifts in public opinion, the parties have begun their last-ditch efforts to gain votes.

Blue and White had maintained a lead of two to four seats in almost all polls during this election campaign. The party’s strategy had been to make sure they win a few more seats than Likud—a result it believes will force the president to charge leader Benny Gantz with trying to form a majority coalition. But two polls have shown that Likud now has more seats than Blue and White, according to Channel 12 at 34 to 33, and according to KAN at 35-34. The Channel 12 poll also showed Netanyahu widening his lead against Gantz 43 percent to 33 percent in the question of who is most qualified to be prime minister. That reality has reignited both parties in the last week.

Likud Knesset member Yoav Kisch told JNS that “the polls are showing that our bringing out the vote effort is working. There are a few hundred thousand Likud voters who didn’t vote last time. Our ministers and MKs are working with every branch in the country, and the prime minister is doing multiple events every night. We will continue this effort in order to accomplish two goals: to win more seats than Blue and White, and even more importantly, to try to get to 61 seats for the right-wing/religious bloc.”

The polls indicate that Netanyahu’s bloc is in the 56 to 58 range, making a 61-seat majority that would secure him as prime minister within reach, despite the fact that the last two rounds of elections failed to accomplish this.

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