The Knesset building.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A record number of 47 parties signed up for the upcoming April 9 elections, according to numbers released by the Israel Democracy Institute.
The central elections committee closed the sign-up process on Thursday night and released the full list of parties. The New Right, under the leadership of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked was the first party to register its list on Wednesday morning, while Shas was the last to sign up, just six minutes before the deadline on Thursday at midnight.
The previous record of parties was registered in 2009, when 33 parties aimed to enter the Knesset. On average, about half of registered candidate lists pass the election threshold.
Even though 47 parties are running for the 21st Knesset, according to polls, more than 60% of votes will be split between Likud and the newly formed Blue and White party, an alliance between Benny Gantz's Israel Resilience and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid. The latest polls also found that the remaining votes will help another 8 to 10 parties gain seats, leaving out around 75% of registered parties.
Polls released on Thursday night, the first after the announcement of the Blue and White alliance, showed that the Gantz and Lapid duo pose a serious threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the first time surpassing him in expected seats. The overall poll showed that right-wing parties and a Center-Left alliance are on even footing, both gaining 48 seats in total. The Arab parties and haredim both would reach 12 seats, leaving a future government's make up with a paper-thin majority.
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