His main rival - and currently the only plausible threat to another Likud-dominated government - is former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz and his newly-formed party Hosen L'Yisrael (Israel Resilience).
In his bid to be prime minister, Gantz - whose party is currently predicted to pick up around 19-24 seats in the 120-seat parliament - is branding himself as a 'centrist', hoping to replicate (or better) the success of similar such candidates in recent elections. Frontrunner Netanyahu's Likud party is expected to win 29-32 seats.
Edo Konrad, deputy editor of +972 Magazine, an independent blog, told Al Jazeera that the dominant form of Israeli centrism today is found in a group of "new centrists" who emerged in the wake of the 2011 social justice protests, including Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon, "and to a certain degree Benny Gantz".
"They are less keen on dealing with the Palestinian issue and instead want to focus on socioeconomic issues, such as the cost of living," Konrad added.
Some observers identify a conscious effort by centrist parties and politicians "not to look 'left', so they de-emphasise the conflict", said Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion expert who has advised five national campaigns in Israel.
Gantz is also hoping to take advantage of the "anyone but Netanyahu" sentiment among voters. Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev, describing Gantz's maiden speech as a combination of "hawkish militarism…and meaningless platitudes", pointed out that for many voters, "the one and only measure of a candidate is whether he is theoretically capable of defeating the prime minister".
For Netanyahu's critics, as Shalev's Haaretz colleague Noa Landau pointed out, Gantz's candidacy is about "a return to statesmanship…the war on corruption, defending state institutions, particularly those dealing with rule of law, defending culture and the media; separation of church and state; and of major importance, modesty and a spirit of optimism instead of foulness and aggressiveness".
But what could Gantz's brand of centrism mean for Palestinians? If his first speech is anything to go by, the answer is a familiar one.
"The Jordan Valley will remain our eastern security border," Gantz declared. "We will maintain security in the entire Land of Israel, but we will not allow the millions of Palestinians living beyond the separation fence to endanger our security and our identity as a Jewish state."
Such a vision - one where Israel remains in effective control of the entirety of the occupied West Bank but without granting its Palestinian inhabitants Israeli citizenship - sounds not only similar to the status quo, but also like Netanyahu's own proposal for a Palestinian "state-minus".
Differences 'meaningless for Palestinians'
Gantz's approach to the Palestinians is also consistent with that of centrist rival Lapid. Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, told Al Jazeera that "from a Palestinian perspective", the differences between Netanyahu and the likes of Lapid are "meaningless".
"Lapid is a proponent of a two-state settlement, but his vision of a Palestinian state has little in common with the concept of statehood as generally understood," Rabbani said, arguing that Lapid sees negotiations with the Palestinians as a "tactical exercise, the purpose of which is to normalise relations with the Arab states".
Last year, Gantz told an interviewer that West Bank settlements such as the so-called Gush Etzion "bloc", as well as Ariel, Ofra and Elkana "will remain forever". On 11 February, Gantz visited Kfar Etzion settlement, hailing it and other colonies as "a strategic, spiritual and settlement asset".
Gantz's running mate, former Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon, has already broadcast a campaign video from a settlement, declaring "our right to settle every part of the Land of Israel".
It comes as no surprise to Palestinian analysts. "If there's one thing Israeli politicians are agreed on, it is that there will be no independent sovereign Palestinian state," Nadia Hijab, board president of al-Shabaka, a Palestinian think-tank, told Al Jazeera.
"Moreover, the settler movement is so strong that any Israeli seeking power will support it whatever noises they may make about removing settlements," she added.