October 27, 2026: Judge sets date for next scheduled elections

Government will rule for 4-year term if it manages to weather political storms; Israel held 5 elections in past 4 years

Israelis cast their votes at a voting station in Tel Aviv, during the Knesset Elections, March 23, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Israelis cast their votes at a voting station in Tel Aviv, during the Knesset Elections, March 23, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Central Elections Committee chairman Supreme Court Judge Noam Solberg ruled Thursday that Israel’s next scheduled elections will be held on October 27, 2026.

Solberg made the ruling in response to a petition asking if the current 25th Knesset will stay in office for the normal four-year term or if it would have five years due to the early dispersal of the previous Knesset, according to a statement from the CEC.

The last elections were held on November 1, 2022, when a far-right, religious 64-member coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party was voted into power.

The ruling is applicable provided the current government remains in power and does not succumb to the political instability of recent years, when Israel saw five elections in four years.

The government has already seen cracks appearing, with the far-right Otzma Yehudit party and several members of Netanyahu’s Likud reportedly threatening to quit if the proposed judicial overhaul plan does not go ahead.

The plan is currently paused to allow for talks amid mass protests against what critics say will undermine democracy in the country.

Israelis protest outside the Knesset government’s planned judicial overhaul, in Jerusalem on March 27, 2023 (Erik Marmor/Flash90)

But with recent polls indicating that the current coalition would see a dramatic drop in support should it go to fresh elections, it seems unlikely that one of the current coalition partners would move to bring the government down for now.

The National Unity party, headed by Benny Gantz, would easily form the largest party in the Knesset if new elections were held, a Channel 12 poll indicated Sunday, predicting that the governing coalition would fall from 64 seats to 52.

The poll largely confirmed the findings of an earlier Channel 13 poll that first reported a striking drop in support for the coalition and surging support for the former defense minister.

According to the Channel 12 poll, Gantz’s party would win 28 seats if elections were held today, four more than Netanyahu’s Likud party, which would get 24 seats, a significant drop from the 32 seats it currently holds in the Knesset.

Yesh Atid, chaired by Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, would fall to 20 seats, down from its current crop of 24, making the centrist party the third largest in the Knesset.

The left-wing Meretz would return to the Knesset with five seats after dropping below the electoral threshold this time, while Ra’am, Hadash-Ta’al and Yisrael Beytenu also each would get five seats. Labor, led by Merav Michaeli, and Palestinian nationalist party Balad would not pass the electoral threshold, Channel 12 found.

The results would see Netanyahu’s right-wing religious bloc fall from 64 seats to 52, while the parties that made up the last government could form a Knesset majority with 63 seats. Hadash-Ta’al would hold the remaining five seats in the 120-seat house.

In general, opinion polls in Israel are considered unreliable, but they do often affect public opinion and drive decision-making among parties.

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