Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing religious bloc will have an easy victory in the snap polls to be held early next year, opinion polls on Thursday said.

According to a poll by Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition is set to increase its share in the 120-member Knesset (Israeli Parliament) garnering 68 seats compared to a centrist-left coalition which will manage only 52. The right-wing bloc, backed by five members of the centrist Atzmaut party, has 66 seats in Knesset.

Mr. Netanyahu’s popularity is also on the ascent with Dialog poll for Ha’aretz showing that 57-62 per cent of respondents found him the best suited to lead the country. Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who failed to win her Kadima party primaries, scored 28 per cent.

Another poll published in the Ma’ariv newspaper also put Mr. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies far ahead of the opposition, saying he would hold on to the 66 seats. Palestinian media reacted with pessimism over the prospect of breaking the deadlock on peace talks with most of the analysts predicting “nothing will change” after Israeli polls.

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