There will be an unprecedented third Knesset election in less than a year on March 2 after the midnight deadline was passed with no faction able to form a government. The Knesset was automatically dispersed with elections required to be held after 90 days - March 10. However, that is Purim and a new bill will be passed bringing the election date forward to March 2.
But three polls in the past few days by Channel 11, Channel 13 and Walla! project that the political stalemate will not be resolved by the new elections. The poll shows Blue & White strengthening, partly at the expense of the Democratic Union-Meretz and the Likud gaining a seat with Shas and the New Right losing ground. In any event both major blocs would still be unable to form a government without each other if Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu still refuses to join a narrow government.
The average of the three polls finds Blue & White with 36 seats (up from 33 in the September elections); Likud 33 (32); Joint Arab List 13 (13); Yisrael Beitenu 8 (8); United Torah Judaism 8 (7); Shas 7 (9); Yemina 6 (7); Labor-Gesher 6 (6); Democratic Camp 4 (5).
Meanwhile the Likud has agreed to primaries on December 26 in which Gideon Saar will challenge Benjamin Netanyahu for leadership of the party.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 12, 2019
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