With three days left until Israelis head to the polls for the third time this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan are predicted to tie at 33 Knesset seats each, according to two election polls published Friday by Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, i24NEWS and Maagar Mochot and Channel 13 News.
According to these surveys, Netanyahu's party lead over Gantz's outfit in the previous poll has narrowed. A Channel 12 News poll on Friday predicted 35 seats for Likud and 33 for Kahol Lavan, and had the right-wing bloc hold a two seat lead over the center-left, with 58 to 56.
The right-wing bloc's momentum also continued in two of the polls, although it still lacks a few Knesset seats to lead the next government, the poll predicts. In the Yisrael Hayom poll, the right-wing bloc is expected to get 57 seats, whereas the center-left bloc and the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties poll together at 56 seats, narrowing the gap predicted in previous polls by one seat.
The Channel 13 survey had the center-left bloc hold a small lead over the right, with 57 seats to the latter's 56.
The Joint List alone is projected to get 14 seats in two of the polls, and 15 in the Channel 13 survey. All three polls have the left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance securing nine seats.
Moreover, 49 percent of respondents in the Yisrael Hayom survey said Netanyahu is the most suited to serve as prime minister, while 35 percent favored Gantz for the job.
Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu is predicted to win seven seats, regaining one seat it lost in previous polls, and remains the party with the most power to break the parliamentary deadlock.
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Yamina, the right-wing coalition headed by Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, is expected to win nine seats in the Yisrael Hayom poll, while channels 13 and 12 have the slate at eight and seven seats respectively. The Ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism polled seven seats, and Shas eight in all three polls.
As predicted in previous polls, the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit fails to pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold required to enter the Knesset.