With Israel’s May 29 national elections fast approaching, the Likud Party said this week that an internal poll it conducted showed that Benjamin Netanyahu had pulled ahead of Shimon Peres by 1 or 2 percentage points in the race for prime minister.
Likud officials said Tuesday that the gap is so narrow that a few hundred votes could make the difference.
Labor Party polls have also indicated a narrowing gap in the prime ministerial race, but in all its surveys, Peres remains in the lead.
Both parties have been directing much of their campaign efforts to a large bloc of centrists in the electorate who have not decided which way to vote.
Likud officials hope that next week’s televised debate between the candidates will be enough to win over undecided voters.
Officials from the two parties were still negotiating the format of the debate, as well as who will be the moderator.
The debate, tentatively scheduled for Sunday night and expected to be prerecorded, will consist of the moderator presenting questions to each candidate.
Likud officials were pushing for the candidates to be allowed to offer rebuttals to each other’s statements in order to have some interaction between Netanyahu and Peres.