Israel Election: Netanyahu Leads Gantz in Polls for First Time

One week to Israel election 2020, polls have Gantz's Kahol Lavan losing votes, Netanyahu's Likud on the rise

Israel election campaign billboards in Bnei Brak, Israel, February 23, 2020.
Oded Balilty/AP

Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is projected to win a narrow lead over Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan in next week's Israel election, according to two polls published Sunday by Channel 12 and Kan public broadcaster. Neither party is predicted to secure a parliamentary majority, indicating no clear end to Israel's unprecedented political deadlock.

According to Channel 12, Netanyahu's Likud is expected to win 34 seats while Kahol Lavan is expected to win 33 seats. A poll by Channel 12 from last week predicted Gantz would win 35 seats and Netanyahu 33.

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Sunday's Kan poll predicts 35 seats for Likud and 34 seats for Gantz in the March 2 election

The third largest party in both polls is the Arab-majority Joint List, predicted to win 14 seats according to Kan and 13 seats according to Channel 12.

The fourth largest party according to both polls is the Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance, projected to win 10 seats according to Channel 12 and 9 seats according to Kan.

Ultra-orthodox parties maintain their strength with Shas predicted to win 8 seats in both polls, and United Torah Judaism predicted 7 according to Kan and 8 according to Channel 12.

Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman and the party with the most power to break the parliamentary stalemate is predicted to win 7 seats according to Kan and 8 seats according to Channel 12.

The right-wing coalition Yamina, headed Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, is projected to win 7 seats according to Channel 12, and 6 seats according to Kan.

The Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit is projected to get 1.5 percent of the vote, below the 3.25 percent threshold required to enter the Knesset, according to the Channel 12 poll.