It is possible to argue that an Israeli election day is fun, if only because it is a national holiday. Most people get the day off work or school, and the railways provide free travel to help everyone reach their ballot box, so it’s perfectly possible to combine a democratic duty with a trip to the seaside.
Yet even the most dedicated psephologist will have groaned in despair at the news that Israelis will be asked yet again to try to break the country’s political deadlock. Weary voters will go through the motions once more on 25 October, but there is little sign that their verdict will be radically different.
There are a few small differences that might flip a few voters this time around. Some will register their unhappiness at Israel’s cost of living crisis. Others will be happy – or angry – that the outgoing coalition broke a major political taboo by taking an Arab party on board.
But, essentially, this fifth election will be the same as the previous four: it is about one man – Benjamin Netanyahu – and, once again, Israelis appear evenly divided on whether or not he should be in charge again.
The former prime minister remains a political behemoth. The fact he still faces multiple corruption charges will cause little trouble for him: all recent opinion polls project his camp comfortably winning the most seats. A majority is far less certain.
For those of us watching from afar, there’s little reason to believe this election will be any different.
But four months is a long time in politics.
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