Israel will have early elections in April due to the dissolving of parliament by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The governing Likud party of Netanyahu seems to be ahead in the polls but Netanyahu isn’t as popular.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an annual state memorial ceremony for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, at his gravesite in Sde Boker, Israel November 14, 2018.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an annual state memorial ceremony for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, at his gravesite in Sde Boker, Israel November 14, 2018. (Reuters Archive)

Israel’s three main TV stations published polls on Tuesday to that predict that the governing Likud party is expected to receive the highest votes.

This announcement comes one day after the government declared that early elections will be held on April 9 coming year.

As a reaction to the ceasefire agreement the Minister for Defence, Avigdor Lieberman resigned from his office and also from the coalition government.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu is the chairman of the Likud party and another victory could likely ensure another term for ‘Bibi’.

The poll results of one of the three TV stations sees the Likud gaining between 27 and 31 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. In the previous parliament they held 30 seats.

Any slight differences can change a coalition structure since the current government only had a 61 to 59 majority.

According to News Company’s poll, 52 percent of voters do not want to see Netanyahu as prime minister.

Netanyahu’s unpopularity

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire after the ceasefire deal with Palestinians in Gaza at the end of November, and the corruption scandal he is currently embroiled in.

Over 70 percent of those surveyed by The Israel Democracy Institute perceived the government to be corrupt.
At least 19 percent of the respondents thought Israel's leadership was "quite corrupt" while 28 percent said it was "very corrupt." 

Only six percent of respondents thought the leadership was "not at all corrupt."
And while the investigations into Netanyahu continue, some ask whether “Israel will elect a corrupt Prime Minister?"
There are four corruption allegations against the far-right politician, known as cases 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000. In these cases, Netanyahu is accused of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and misuse of state funds.

Coalition partners are troubled with it and that is why-among other reasons-they wanted early elections.

Weak opposition

It seems that the Likud party will be the victorious party after the elections in April - according to several polls.

The strongest party after the Likud are the Zionist Union - an alliance between the Labour party and the Hatnuah. The alliance was formed in 2014 to unseat ‘Bibi’.

However, as a centre-left alliance, they have internal disputes about leadership and other issues. Even though the Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni reached out to Avi Gabbay - chairman of the Labour party - to contest polls together, with Gabbay as their leader - the left has historically had a tough time getting votes in Israel.

The strength in Netanyahu's policies and the weakness of leftist parties lies in their security policies

Since 1977 the majority of governments in Israel have been from right-wing parties. Leftist parties focus on finding a new agenda, and to 'takeover' Netanyahu’s argument on security policies by criticising the PM’s stance on the Gaza ceasefire deal.
In the end, the opposition might be too weak to replace the Likud party - and Netanyahu the single candidate to become the new-old PM. But a lot of questions are still open.