Israel votes today and polls indicate that the incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be returned to power. Israeli electoral law forbids polling in the final four days of a campaign but the final analysis, released on Friday, suggested that he will win 32 seats, and through a series of alliances take that total to around 63, giving him control of the 120-seat Knesset.
What those polls cannot predict, however, is the make-up of the coalition government that Netanyahu would form. Will his joint Likud-Beitenu party gather together a group of political partners from the right, including parties representing ultra-orthodox Jews? Or will he look for newer partners and form a government with Naftali Bennett, the far-right leader of the Jewish Home party and the surprise star personality of the campaign?
But however new the composition of this government may be, it will not override the strong feeling that these elections are taking place is a muted, even gloomy atmosphere. There is a lack of enthusiasm among the electorate for the 32 parties on the ballot. Political analysts talk with some frustration about the growing anti-political feeling and of political fatigue.