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Polls suggest continued deadlock after Israel's third election in a year

JERUSALEM - SEPTEMBER 16: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump posters are seen ahead of the General elections in Jerusalem on September 16, 2019. ( Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency )

New polls published Monday ahead of Israel's third election in a year on 2 March suggest continued political deadlock, reported The Times of Israel,

One poll conducted on behalf of Channel 13 shows opposition list Blue and White winning 36 seats, three more than Likud's 33.

The Joint List would get 14 seats, the Labor-Gesher-Meretz list 8 seats, while Yamina and the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) parties would get seven seats each.

Overall, the pro-Netanyahu bloc of right-wing and religious parties was projected to get 54 out of 120 Knesset seats, while the opposition bloc led by Blue and White chair Benny Gantz had 58 – including the Joint List, which is unlikely to become formally part of a Gantz-led coalition.

Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party remains in a kingmaker role, with 8 seats. The far-right Otzma Yehudit party was predicted to fall well short of the 3.25 percent electoral threshold.

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Despite Blue and White's slender leader over Likud, when asked who is more suited to be prime minister, 45 percent answered Benjamin Netanyahu while 33 percent said Gantz.

Meanwhile, a separate poll published by the Walla news site also predicted an impasse, with the right-wing-religious bloc securing 56 seats (33 for Likud, 8 each for Shas and UTJ, and 7 for Yamina), and the centre-left bloc getting 44 (34 for Blue and White, 10 for Labor-Gesher-Meretz).

The poll saw Joint List winning 13 seats, and Yisrael Beiteinu 7.

The Walla survey also found that 54 percent of respondents were "were against a Gantz-led minority government supported by the Joint List, even if it would be the only way to prevent fourth elections", while only 28 percent backed the idea.

The second poll similarly showed Netanyahu as the preferred prime ministerial candidate, with 43 percent backing the Likud leader, compared to 35 percent supporting Gantz.

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IsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNews
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