2 March 2020 Netanyahu wins Israel’s third legislative election in less than a year

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, ratified his victory in the legislative elections of 2 March, obtaining at least 36 seats with 90% of the votes counted. Israelis were called to the ballot boxes for the third time in a year after the April and September 2019 elections ended up in a political deadlock, in which none of the two major parties – Nentanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party – were able to form a government. Even though, the March 2020 elections registered a higher participation than the two previous ballots, with turnout at 71%. The results could nevertheless lead to another impasse since the right-wing bloc led by the Likud is expected to get 58 seats, more than in the two previous elections, but still not enough to reach the majority of the Knesset, at 61 seats. But also because Netanyahu is facing a corruption trial on 17 March, in which he is charged of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Meanwhile, Gantz’s Blue and White Party, which won the elections in September, is expected to obtain 32 seats, and the Arab Joint List consolidated its position as the third largest political party in the Knesset with 15 seats.