11 days ago
Israelis are going to the polling stations today in early elections, with the center-right coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party having the best chances of forming the next government, meaning that Netanyahu will surpass the record office time of Israel's founding Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
After one of the most heated campaigns in recent history, the latest opinion polls are in, but the last elections (in 2015) teach us that one shouldn't put much faith in them. In 2015 pollsters predicted a close race between Likud and and the leftist Zionist Union, but Likud still won with a considerable margin.
Predicting the result is particularly difficult because there are a multitude of parties running for office and the entry threshold is only 3.25 percent. This means that as many as 13 parties could be in the next parliament.
Netanyahu's main opponent is General Benny Gantz, who started his military career as a volunteer at the Paratrooper Brigade and evetually rose to the highest military rank of Lieutenant-General and was Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) from 2011 to 2015.
While it may not matter in the election itself, his mother, Malka hails from Hungary and his father, Nahum from Romania.
While the most recent put Netanyahu and Gantz's parties head-to-head with each forecast to win 30 seats in Israel's 120-seat Knesset assembly, Netanyahu is still more likely to be able to form a government as parties on the right are likely to get a total of 64--66 seats and those on the left 54-56.