Israel is expected to see PM Benjamin Netanyahu win a 3rd term, signaling its drift from peace with Palestine and towards a showdown with Iran.
However, Netanyahu's own Likud party and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu group, are expected to win fewer seats than previously, with opinion polls indicating rising support for the far-right Jewish Home party. Netanyahu, worried by his declining popularity, may approach centre-left parties after results to broaden his coalition and present a more moderate face to Washington and other allies.
No Israeli party has ever got an absolute majority, implying that Netanyahu needs to various allies onboard to manage the 120-seat Knesset. He has traditionally looked to religious, conservative parties for support and is expected to solicit the self-made millionaire and star of the campaign Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party. Bennett has declined any peace pact with the Palestinians and supports the annexation of the occupied West Bank.