Polls published by major Israeli TV networks on Thursday showed Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party and main challenger Blue and White tied in a tight battle ahead of the election on 17th September, with each party projected to win 32 seats in the 22nd Knesset.
The surveys by Channel 12 and Channel 13 showed identical results for Likud and Blue and White, with the two parties tied 32-32 in both polls.
Both polls also showed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains unable to form the right-wing coalition he desires without rival Avigdor Liberman, with only 56 seats projected for his right-wing bloc in the 120-member Knesset. He would need Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party, which is projected to win 11 seats according to the Channel 13 poll and 9 seats by the Channel 12 poll.
the Joint List of Arab parties received 10 seats in both polls; the Yamina alliance of right-wing parties won 9-10 seats in the two surveys; the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism won 8 seats in both; the ultra-Orthodox Shas party won 6-7 seats; the left-wing Democratic Camp was projected to obtain 6-7 seats while Labor-Gesher was at 5-6.
The far-right Otzma Yehudit party remained below the 3.25% electoral threshold, winning between 2.5%-2.76% in the two polls.
The polling results indicate that Liberman appears to remain the kingmaker following the last elections.
After previous elections in April, secular nationalist Liberman refused to join a Netanyahu-led coalition with ultra-Orthodox parties. Liberman has called for a unity government that will include himself, Likud and Blue and White, and leave out religious parties.