Under a sunny Jerusalem sky, voters have been turning out at a polling station surrounded by election posters, party volunteers on hand for a last-minute push. Among them is the banner of Likud, the right-wing party of Benjamin Netanyahu, with the slogan “It’s us or them… only Likud”.
But Israel’s prime minister for the past six years knows it could well be “them” after today’s vote. Behind in the last opinion polls, he faces the political fight of his life. Even if he loses to the opposition Zionist Union, though, he still stands a better chance of building a coalition. The centre of gravity of Israeli politics is largely on the right – the Zionist Union could struggle to find the partners needed for a 61-seat majority.
Mr Netanyahu has campaigned on his core issue of security, shoring up his right wing vote by effectively ruling out a Palestinian state. But for his opponents – and for the majority of voters – the number one issue here is the cost of living that has soared under his watch. And that is where they believe his weakness lies.
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