An early opinion poll posted on Tuesday showed that neither of the rivaling blocs in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, will get a majority of 61 seats to form a stable government.
The poll was conducted by 103FM, following the announcement made on Monday evening by the ruling coalition to vote on dissolving the Knesset next week, with Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid replacing Naftali Bennett as prime minister.
The Bennett-Lapid bloc can count on 55 seats, according to the poll, while the right-wing bloc led by Benjamin Netanyahu is predicted to gain 59 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.
Netanyahu’s Likud party is expected to receive 36 seats, followed by Lapid’s Yesh Atid which is predicted to get 20 seats. Meanwhile, Bennett’s Yamina party could gain back seats raising their number up to seven.
The survey also showed increased support for the Religious Zionist Party led by Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir with 10 predicted seats. Blue and White led by Israel’s Defense minister Benny Gantz is said to retain their eight seats, while Israel’s Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party is expected to lose two seats ending up with only five.
According to the poll, Labor Party and The Joint List are predicted to get seven and six seats respectively. Ra’am and New Hope are said to receive a minimum of four seats each.
Earlier on Monday evening, outgoing prime minister Bennett and his ally Lapid announced that the Knesset would vote on dissolving next week following weeks of attempts to secure the majority for the fragile governing coalition. Lapid will become interim prime minister if the parliament disbands until new elections are held in October.
Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who previously served as Israel's longest-serving prime minister, said he intended to form “a strong, forceful” alternative government but was also getting ready for elections.