On eve of vote, its all down to turnout

With Israelis going to the polls for the third time in less than 12 months, political parties are mobilizing their volunteers, manning the phones and doing their utmost to push themselves and their bloc over the elusive 61-lawmaker benchmark that could end a year-long electoral impasse

Moran Azulay|
With less than 24 hours until the polls open in the third Election Day in less than 12 months, the political parties are pulling the final tricks out of the bag to boost their share of the votes at the ballot box on Monday.
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  • They mobilizing volunteers, manning the phones and doing their utmost to push themselves and their bloc over the elusive 61-lawmaker benchmark that could end a year-long electoral impasse.
    6 View gallery
    ועדת הבחירות המרכזית
    ועדת הבחירות המרכזית
    The Central Elections Committee prepares a ballot box for Monday's vote
    (Photo: EPA)


    Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu spent the final weekend before the election meeting with potential voters and conducting a series of interviews with various Israeli media outlets.
    His time has also been channeled into recording videos and making live broadcasts on social media in an effort to reach more Likud and right-wing voters.
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    כנס הליכוד ברמת גן
    כנס הליכוד ברמת גן
    Benjamin Netanyahu, center, with Likud voters in Ramat Gan
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    On Sunday, the party was conducting a massive poster campaign in its main strongholds and convoys of students were to be dispatched to homes such areas to encourage Likud supporters turn out to vote.
    Likud activists were to be placed at central traffic junctions across the country.
    On Election Day itself, the Likud was to run a large phone bank staffed by volunteers whose job will be to go through lists of supporters and make sure everyone turns out to vote.
    Netanyahu will divide his time between live broadcasts on Facebook and Twitter and recording messages to be sent directly to voters' cell phones.
    Netanyahu's camp believe that he is far more effective when delivering unfiltered messages on social media. He also is expected to pop up in public areas on Election Day – as he and other party leaders did in September - and will also hold brief meetings with mayors, party functionaries and others who hold sway with the voters.
    Netanyahu is expected to push two messages: "Don't vote for Itamar Ben-Gvir and waste right-wing votes" – a reference to the extremist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) leader whose party is unlikely pass the threshold - and "Benny Gantz has nothing to offer, he cannot cope under pressure."

    Blue & White

    Having lost the lead in the polls, Blue & White's primary goal is to reclaim its place as the biggest party.
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    בני גנץ ונבחרת כחול לבן
    בני גנץ ונבחרת כחול לבן
    Benny Gantz talks to Blue & White supporters in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    The campaign will focus on two objectives: reclaiming the mantle as the largest party and increasing the percentage of the vote in Blue & White strongholds.
    On Election Day, Blue & White will operate more than 25,000 activists across the country, positioning them outside polling stations to make a last-ditch appeal to voters as well as in shopping malls and city centers.
    The party will also operate its own phone bank with hundreds of call centers and satellite offices nationwide.
    The party has more than 300 such offices across the country, including those directed at the Ethiopian and Russian communities.

    Joint List

    The members of the Joint List continue to step up their ground game in order to increase turn out with the aim of bringing as many voters as possible.
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    אום אל פחם
    אום אל פחם
    Joint List activists on the campaign trail in Umm al-Fahm
    Over the weekend, the party activists went out knocking on doors and talking to undecided voters.
    Religious leaders and educationalists in the Arab sector also took to the streets, speaking to local residents and students about the importance of voting for the Joint List.
    Municipal leaders also joined the effort over the weekend, urging their constituents to vote for the predominantly Arab party. Their message was of the importance in voting for Joint List to end house demolitions, racial violence and other problems.
    On Sunday, thousands of Joint List activists were to join party candidates in home visits aimed at increasing the party's support in the Arab sector and among the Jewish electorate.


    At the headquarters of the right-wing party, the focus of activity is its list of potential voters – sending its 6,000 or more volunteers into areas clearly identified with right-wing parties.
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    נפתלי בנט וחברי רשימת ימינה בשוק מחנה יהודה
    נפתלי בנט וחברי רשימת ימינה בשוק מחנה יהודה
    Yamina leader Naftali Bennett campaigns in Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    On Election Day, these volunteers will go from house to house in an effort to physically help people to vote.
    Senior members of the party will spend Election Day outside polling stations throughout the country, hoping to persuade right-wing voters to cast their vote for Yamina rather than Netanyahu and Likud.


    The alliance headquarters has a defined target in Monday's vote – to win 12 seats. The alliance intends to operate primarily in locations identified with left-wing voters to raise voter turnout and reach the much-touted double digits.
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    עמיר פרץ
    עמיר פרץ
    Labor leader Amir Peretz at his party headquarters in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    All the candidates on the alliance's list have been assigned specific tasks for Election Day, functioning alongside a large team of volunteers who will work concurrently on social networks.
    The alliance's phone bank will include some 650 operators calling to encourage Labor-Bridge-Meretz supporters to vote and even help with shuttles for voters who find it difficult to get to the polls.
    The alliance's supporters on kibbutzim and moshavim have already launched what they call Operation Door-to-Door, operating 230 campaign offices in these communities.
    The young campaigners and the left-wing youth movements plan to put on street performances and other events in city centers and malls on Election Day, aiming to raise voter turnout.
    The alliance also decided to focus a great deal of effort on increasing support in the Arab sector.
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