For the second time in 2019, the Israeli electorate go to the polls and again it is too close to call.
In April, the key battle was between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz and this remains the case now.
However, the situation has deteriorated for Netanyahu since, as the net has closed around some of the activities of him and his wife in relation to allegations of corruption.
It may not be too surprising then that he has stated that he would like to pass legislation that leaves Israeli MPs immune from prosecution while in office.
However, Netanyahu also faces challenges on the right from smaller parties who have increased their appeal in recent years by offering different versions of right wing Isaeli politics.
His most potent challenger on the right is probably Avigdor Lieberman. His secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu seeks to break the link between the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and the right-wing governance while not conceding an inch to the Palestinians – he famously resigned as Defence Minister of Israel in November 2018 after calling the Gaza ceasefire as “surrendering to terror”.
These aren’t his only challengers, he also has more traditional right-wing rivals like Yamima,, comprised of 3 smaller parties ahead of this election, who are currently polling between 7% and 10% which could give them up to 12 seats in the next 120 seat Knesset.
Netanyahu is not giving up his dominance of the right though. He has vowed to annex up to 30% of the West Bank if he wins tomorrow.
Benny Gantz’s Blue & White Part has been on 32% in the last 6 opinion polls which puts them practically neck and neck with Netanyahu’s Likud.
However, the last 20 polls have given Netanyahu a clear lead, approximately 10%, in the Preferred Prime Minister question.
This leads to me to believe that Netanyahu will again find a way to form a majority and remain as Prime Minister. He has undoubtedly moved the electorate to the right during his second, ten-year stint as Prime Minister and it will be very difficult for Gantz to create a stable, left of centre majority, even if his Blue and White Party end up with the most seats.
I believe Netanyahu is one of the most destructive and destabilising figures in global politics and would love to see him replaced with a less belligerent leader.
Unfortunately, I acknowledge that he is one of the craftiest and politically astute leaders anywhere in the world. Like every politician, his career must eventually end but I think he may yet again defy the critics and remain Prime Minister when the final votes are counted….