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Knesset Votes To Disband As Snap Election Looms

ISRAEL

Following yesterday's reports that the Israeli parliament (Knesset) was due to disband, MKs have voted to do so today while also installing Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as caretaker PM.

  • The snap election will be Israel's fifth in three years, with little sign of a stable majority gov't coming into view after the election based on recent opinion polling.
  • The election is likely to take place on October 25 or November 1 following a three-month campaign period.
  • Polls show former PM Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party and its allies just short of the 61 seats required to hold a majority in the Knesset. However, the broad range of anti-Netanyahu parties that formed the now-collapsed gov't of Naftali Bennett also falls short of 61 seats.
  • As such, should neither bloc gain a majority it will require parties or MKs to defect across the anti/pro-Netanyahu divide in Israeli politics or risk another period of instability.
  • Should a Netanyahu-led coalition return to power it would see a major shift rightwards in Israeli gov't policy, especially given the increasing prominence of the hard-line Religious Zionism party in the grouping. Prospect of compromise issues such as the Iran nuclear deal reduced significantly.
Chart 1. Knesset at Dissolution, Seats

Source: knesset.gov.il, MNI

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Following yesterday's reports that the Israeli parliament (Knesset) was due to disband, MKs have voted to do so today while also installing Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as caretaker PM.

  • The snap election will be Israel's fifth in three years, with little sign of a stable majority gov't coming into view after the election based on recent opinion polling.
  • The election is likely to take place on October 25 or November 1 following a three-month campaign period.
  • Polls show former PM Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party and its allies just short of the 61 seats required to hold a majority in the Knesset. However, the broad range of anti-Netanyahu parties that formed the now-collapsed gov't of Naftali Bennett also falls short of 61 seats.
  • As such, should neither bloc gain a majority it will require parties or MKs to defect across the anti/pro-Netanyahu divide in Israeli politics or risk another period of instability.
  • Should a Netanyahu-led coalition return to power it would see a major shift rightwards in Israeli gov't policy, especially given the increasing prominence of the hard-line Religious Zionism party in the grouping. Prospect of compromise issues such as the Iran nuclear deal reduced significantly.
Chart 1. Knesset at Dissolution, Seats

Source: knesset.gov.il, MNI