General elections for the 21st Knesset began today with the opening of the polling stations at 7:00 am this morning and will close at 10 pm.
Dozens of political parties are on the ballot competing for the votes of around 6,340,000 qualified citizens. 10,270 voting stations have been placed throughout the country including hospitals, prisons, and schools.
IDF soldiers have already been permitted to begin voting 2 days ago. The ballot boxes placed at the army bases have been manned by approximately 5,000 lone IDF soldiers who will receive compensation for their work.
Final polls published last night by Channel 12 news predicted that the White and Blue party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid will get 32 seats, while the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would get 28 seats.
Without individually being able to hold the majority in the Knesset by themselves, both parties will have to form a coalition with the smaller parties.
The aligned left party of HaAvoda would get 8 seats; the Arab Hadash-Ta’al party would get 7 seats; the Shas and Yahadut Hatorah religious parties would get 6 seats; The aligned right parties of Hayemin Hehadash and Zehut, the Union of Right Parties, the leftist Meretz party, and the centrist Kulanu, would get 5 seats each; and finally, the Arab party Ra’am-Balad and the right-wing party Yisrael Beitenu would get 4 seats each.
Therefore the bloc of right-wing parties reaches 52 seats, the left-center bloc has 45 seats, the religious bloc has 12 seats, and the Arab bloc has 11 seats.
Assuming that the religious bloc will go right as they usually do, then that would give Netanyahu a majority of 64 seats.