Israel Election: Pro-Netanyahu Bloc Loses Projected Majority in Polls After Gaza Fighting

According to polls released by three Israeli news channels, Netanyahu's Likud party would remain Knesset's biggest after Israel's November election, followed by Prime Minister Lapid's Yesh Atid

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A cyclist passes a Likud billboard featuring Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid.
A cyclist passes a Likud billboard featuring Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid. Credit: Moti Milrod

The bloc of parties backing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu would not have a Knesset majority after Israel's November 1 election, according to three polls released Monday by Israeli news channels.

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According to all three polls – conducted after a cease-fire was announced Sunday between Israel and Islamic Jihad to end the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip – the pro-Netanyahu bloc would have 59 out of 120 Knesset seats, slightly less than previous polls projected.

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The Kan public broadcaster, Channel 12 News and Channel 13 News polls gave Netanyahu's Likud 33-34 seats, keeping its position as the Israeli parliament's biggest party. Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid is projected to win 22-24 seats.

An alliance between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Saar, Kahol Lavan-New Hope, received 11-12 seats and was tied in one of the polls with the far-right Religious Zionist party, which received 10-11 seats.

The Zionist Spirit party, led by Interior Minister Ayalet Shaked, who took over from former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after he announced he was quitting politics, failed to pass the 3.25-percent electoral threshold to sit in the Knesset in two of the polls.

According to the Channel 13 poll, Shaked's party, which hasn't publicly pledged support for either the pro-Netanyahu or anti-Netanyahu bloc, has just enough support to make it into parliament.

Last week, a Channel 13 poll showed Netanyahu's bloc of parties winning 62 Knesset seats, and the current governing coalition only 52 Knesset seats.

The Joint List, a three-way Arab-majority alliance, would clock in at six seats. The party is unlikely to back either major bloc.

If neither bloc secures a majority after the November vote – Israel's fifth in fewer than four years – the task of forming a coalition will be nearly impossible and may require forming a minority government that receives support from parties external to the coalition.

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