Netanyahu's Likud tied with Blue and White alliance of Benny Gantz, both winning 35 seats. The balance of power was held by smaller parties, with a majority being right-wing and religious parties that had previously sat in coalition with Likud, which would have allowed Netanyahu to form the next government.
Due to continuation of the disagreements over the national service of the ultra-Orthodox, a snap election was called, and was held on 17 September 2019.
Lieberman would eventually leave the government over the cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza. This leaves the governing coalition with 61 seats (out of 120 in total).The Jewish Home announced on 16 November 2018 that it would leave the government, as Naftali Bennett (the head of the party) was not given Lieberman's former Defense Ministry post. Reports were that Netanyahu would not be giving the post to Bennett and was to meet with other coalition leaders on 18 November to determine a date for early election. However, after further discussion, Bennett decided to stay on as education minister, narrowly avoiding the collapse of the Netanyahu government again. However, continued dysfunction over various issues, including military service for the ultra-Orthodox, caused parliament to dissolve and early elections to be called for 9 April 2019. Had early elections not been called, the regularly-scheduled elections would have taken place seven months later, on 5 November 2019.
While election day was on 9 April 2019, polls opened in embassies around the world on 28 March.
Voting in the election day in a polling station in HaBiluyim Primary School in Ramat Gan.
Two party lists can sign an agreement that allows them to compete for leftover seats as though they are running together on the same list. The Bader–Ofer method disproportionately favors larger lists, meaning that such an alliance is more likely to receive leftover seats than both of its comprising lists would be individually. If the alliance receives leftover seats, the Bader–Ofer calculation is then applied privately, to determine how the seats are divided among the two allied lists. The following agreements were signed by parties prior to the election:
Engineer and Nazareth resident Salman Abu Ahmad announced on 2 January that he launched a new Israeli Arab party named New Horizon — An Arab Centrist Party, which would participate in the elections. However, the party did not run.
Former IDF brigadier general Gal Hirsch announced on 8 January that he launched a new party named Shield of Israel.
Orly Levy ran in the election with a political party named Gesher. She announced that she and her party would run independently after a failed joint-list agreement with Benny Gantz and his Resilience party.
Left-wing activist Eldad Yaniv announced on 30 December 2018 that he would re-form his 2013 party named "Eretz Hadasha", which would have run in the upcoming election, though Yaniv dropped out of the race following the revealing of the Gantz/Lapid joint list on 20 February 2019.
The Green Leaf party announced on 20 February 2019 that it would not participate in the election.
Haredi Women's College founder Adina Bar-Shalom had expressed interest in participating in the elections with her newly-formed, but unregistered, party Ahi Yisraeli, though the party announced its withdrawal on 26 February 2019.
The Jewish Home held its leadership primaries on 27 April 2017; Naftali Bennett won with 80.3% of the vote, Yonatan Branski received 12.2%, and Yitzhak Zagha received 7.47%. In the aftermath of the formation of the New Right, and Bennett's leaving, the Jewish Home cancelled its primaries.Rafi Peretz was elected leader of the Jewish Home on 4 February.
On 14 February 2019, Jewish Home agreed to run on a joint list with the Tkuma party. Jewish Home leader Rafi Peretz headed the joint list, with Tkuma chair Bezalel Smotrich as the number two. On 20 February 2019, they agreed to include Otzma Yehudit in their list, titled the Union of Right-Wing Parties. The inclusion of Otzma Yehudit prompted strong criticism.
The Likud leadership primary election was originally scheduled for 23 February 2016 following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal, and later cancelled by a party court on the basis that the Likud constitution did not require a vote when there was only one candidate. Likud held the primary for the rest of its list on 5 February 2019, which resulted in several of Netanyahu's rivals winning senior spots. Voting irregularities surfaced in the primary results. In some cases, specific candidates received more votes in some locales than the total number of ballots cast in those locales. The Likud party investigated the matter. In the final results, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein came in first place, followed by Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan, Gideon Sa'ar, and Miri Regev.
On 28 February 2019, the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, announced his intent to indict Prime Minister Netanyahu on three charges which include bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. These include trading legislation for favorable press coverage.
Meretz held its leadership primaries on 22 March 2018; Tamar Zandberg won with 71% of the vote, Avi Buskila received 29%. Meretz held its primary on 14 February 2019.
The Zehut party held Israel's first open primaries on 29 January 2019, in which all Israeli voters (including those living abroad) were able to vote via a secure online website. About 12,000 people voted in these primaries, which determined the order of the candidates who won in the party's internal primaries in September 2017.
These graphs show the polling trends from the time Knesset candidate lists were finalized on 21 February, until Friday before election day (5 April).
If more than one poll was conducted on the same day, the graphs show the average of the polls for that date.
Note: Political blocs do not necessarily determine the exact make-up of post-election coalitions.
Allegations of misconductEdit
The Hadash–Ta'al alliance filed a complaint requesting the removal of 1,200 concealed cameras in polling places in Arab communities. A judge overseeing the election ordered the concealed equipment removed. The company that set up the cameras, Kaizler Inbar, bragged about its role in social media posts.
Leader of Blue and White faction Benny Gantz conceded, paving the way for incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start talks with other parties to form a governing coalition. On 15 and 16 April, leaders of all the parties who won seats in the Knesset met with President Reuven Rivlin to recommend a designated person to form a government. Netanyahu received recommendations from leaders representing 65 seats in the Knesset, whereas Gantz received recommendations from leaders representing only 45 seats in the Knesset. Leaders of the two Arab parties, representing 10 seats in the Knesset, declined to make any recommendation. Based on the recommendations he received, Rivlin designated Netanyahu to form the next governing coalition. After a month of negotiations, Netanyahu's failure to form a government led to a 74 to 45 vote in the Knesset in favour of dispersing just after midnight on 29 May 2019. The new election was scheduled for 17 September 2019.
^Kulanu is a centre to centre-right party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
^Zehut is a right-wing libertarian party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
^Blue & White has expressed its intention not to form a coalition with Ra'am-Balad or Hadash-Ta'al.
^Gesher is a centre-left party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
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^Marissa Newman. "As Liberman quits, looming draft law deadline puts Netanyahu under the gun". Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
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^"With Bader-Ofer method, not every ballot counts". The Jerusalem Post. 16 March 2014.
^Israel in Ireland [@IsraelinIreland] (28 March 2019). "Early voting 🗳️is taking place today in #Israeli embassies around the world 🌍. H.E. Ophir Kariv and other Israelis working at the Embassy of #Israel in #Ireland are casting their vote! The elections take place in Israel on April 9th. #Israeltothepolls #Elections2019 #IsraElex19 t.co/n0CxCUKq0A" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2023 – via Twitter.
^The Distribution of Knesset Seats Among the Lists – the Bader-Offer Method, Knesset website
^"Jewish Home signs vote sharing agreement with Likud". Israel National News. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
^"New Right unveils Knesset slate featuring equal representation for women". Times of Israel. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
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^"Ra'am-Balad and Hadash-Ta'al - Israel Elections - Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
^tzvimoshe. "Zehut Platform". Zehut. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
^"Zehut". en.idi.org.il. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
^Albert Levy (27 January 2019). "Open primaries are good for all Israelis and good for Israel". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
^Israel, David (29 December 2018). "Bennett's, Shaked's 'New Right' Party to Challenge Netanyahu". Jewish Press. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
^"Political Drama: Senior Israeli Ministers Launch New Right-wing Party". Haaretz. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
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^"Despite possible indictments, ex-IDF general Gal Hirsch launches political party". The Times of Israel. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
^Stuart Winer (14 January 2019). "Yom Kippur War vet who brought down government launches election campaign". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
^Stuart Winer (15 January 2019). "Commando who saved Netanyahu's life 50 years ago sets up rival political party". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
^Raoul Wootliff (20 February 2019). "Registering new party, YouTube star urges public to vote 'F**k'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
^ abHezki Baruch (14 February 2019). "Jewish Home and National Union to run together". Israel National News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
^ abJacob Magid. "Jewish Home party votes overwhelmingly to merge with extremist Otzma Yehudit". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
^Hezki Baruch (18 February 2019). "MK Oren Hazan leaves Likud, heads Tzomet party". Israel National News. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
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^"Anti-corruption protest leader forms new party ahead of elections". The Times of Israel. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
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