With three days to go before a general election, the gap is narrowing between Israel’s ruling Kadima party and the Likud’s right-wing opposition.
It is predicted to win by a narrow margin bringing its leader, former premier Benyamin Netanyahu, back to power. However, even if he does beat his rivals, Netanyahu will have to consider bringing them into an alliance to secure a majority in parliament. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima, currently the largest party in the Knesset, is expected to be sanctioned by a jittery electorate worried about security and the economy. Opinion polls predict it will come in second position, with the ultranationalist party Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, in third place. The tough former nightclub bouncer has succeeded in galvanising an electorate looking for a strongman to replace veterans like Ehud Barak of the Labour party, current Defense Minister and also a former prime minister. His party has dropped to fourth position with 14 seats, a historic low in opinion polls.