At the end of May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked Israel by calling for new national elections after he failed to form a governing coalition. Commentators dubbed the unprecedented new poll “Mo’ed B,” literally, a second scheduled date. The term also implies a second chance at success.
Despite failing to win a majority in the April elections, Israeli opposition parties of the center and the left didn’t seem to want a re-run; most of their lawmakers voted against the new elections. Ironically, it was the right-wing parties, who won a comfortable 65 seats (out of a total of 120), that voted themselves out of office. They clearly think they can do better. They may be right.
For over a decade, polling has repeatedly shown that center and left-wing voters make up less than half of the Israeli electorate. In a survey conducted just before the April elections, 41 percent of all voters identified as centrist or left wing, while 50 percent identified as right wing. This includes Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the population and vote mostly for Arab or left-wing Jewish parties, but who turn out at significantly lower rates than Jews. Election results therefore generally