Gantz Predicts 40 Seats, Poll Gives Him 36

YERUSHALAYIM -
benny gantz
Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz, speaking at an election event in Tel Aviv International Salon, Monday. (Gili Yaari / Flash90)

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz has predicted that his party will trounce Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s Likud with 40 Knesset seats in the March 2 voting, though the latest polls did not bear him out.

“We’re gonna take 40 seats in the next election,” Gantz said at a campaign event in Tel Aviv on Monday night, according to The Times of Israel.

Two polls released while Gantz was talking showed him ahead, but not nearly that far ahead.

A Channel 13 poll had Blue and White winning 36 seats versus 33 for Likud; Walla gave Gantz a mere one-seat edge over Netanyahu, 34-33. Both polls were consistent with opinion samplings over the winter which indicated that neither would have a majority to form a government after the March elections.

Gantz encouraged similar expectations ahead of the indecisive April election, saying, “If we have 40 seats, we are replacing the government.”

Addressing the almost year-long political stalemate, he said: “Some changes need to be made. I think we should move up the threshold to a higher level, so that we won’t have so many small parties. I think Israel would do better with four, five, six parties as most,” he said.

The current electoral threshold is 3.25% of the total vote, and there are nine parties currently serving in the Knesset.