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Israeli opinion polls show Benny Gantz's opposition party surging forward

His Israel Resilience Party has established itself as the main challenger to Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud

    The former IDF chief of staff established the Israel Resilience Party just five weeks ago
    The former IDF chief of staff established the Israel Resilience Party just five weeks ago (Photo: Flash 90)

    The first polls released after Benny Gantz’s speech this week showed his party charging forward.

    Surveys for Israel’s main broadcasters on Wednesday night projected Benny Gantz’s party would take between 21 and 24 Knesset seats, leapfrogging the centrist Yesh Atid.

    The polls gave Avi Gabbay’s Labour and the New Right party formed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked seat tallies in single digits, while Tzipi Livni’s centrist Hatnuah would not win enough votes to cross the 3.25 per cent electoral threshold.

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud still leads all polls and was this week hovering between 29 and 31 seats, around the number it won in 2015.

    But another survey, for the Israeli news site Walla! by Panel Politics, suggested for the first time that right-wing and religious parties may not take enough seats to provide the Israeli Prime Minister with a workable majority, a scenario that could drive him to centrist parties for support.

    There is still time for the smaller factions to create alliances: Israeli parties have a fortnight to file their lists of candidates with the country’s electoral board.

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