Vote-sharing agreements were signed this week by the Likud and Yamina parties on the right, the centrist Blue and White and centre-right Yisrael Beytenu party, and the Democratic Camp and Labor parties on the left, to help solidify their respective blocs ahead of Israel’s election on 17th September.
The agreements allow parties to pool surplus votes under Israel’s proportional representation system to win additional seats. Such agreements are widely used in Israeli elections.
Under Israeli law, the combined leftover votes go to the party closest to winning another seat, and are often sufficient to add that seat to its tally, making them potentially decisive in a close race.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and main challenger Blue and White have shown to be neck and neck in most polls over the past month, and whichever party emerges the larger could win the first chance to form the next coalition.
Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party are expected to attempt to forge a unity government after the elections and commentators say may try to oust Netanyahu.