The demand to hold the primaries has been led by Likud challenger Gideon Sa’ar.
According to Channel 12 news, while Netanyahu “didn’t rule out” agreeing to Sa’ar’s call to hold the leadership contest in the 17 days remaining to avoid general elections, the scenario was seen as unlikely, the report said.
Sa’ar had called for a snap contest to give the primary winner a chance to form a coalition and avoid sending the country to a third consecutive election.
As a result, a third election is now looking likely. A Channel 12 survey released today has found little change in the parliamentary arithmetic that has prevented the formation of a government after two consecutive elections in April and September.
According to the poll, Blue and White will once again, as it has in September, emerge the largest party, rising to 34 seats from its current 33. Likud would come in a close second, with 33 to its current 32.
This result is only changed if Netanyahu is no longer at the helm of Likud. In the poll, respondents were also asked how they would vote if Netanyahu’s main primary challenger, MK Gideon Sa’ar, was leading Likud instead – Likud is polled to receive 26 seats in this scenario.