Incumbent President Shimon Peres announced that he would not run for a second term, despite an opinion poll showing 63% of Israelis would prefer him to remain in office.  A second term would require change in legislation, as the Basic Law on the presidency permits only one term, following reforms made after the 1998 presidential election to prevent an incumbent being challenged for the presidency.
In 2012, an agreement was made between Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rivlin would be the party's candidate for the election if Likud won the 2013 Knesset election. Likud subsequently emerged with a parliamentary plurality. However, it was reported by the Jerusalem Post that both Netanyahu and Lieberman have a poor relationship with Rivlin and have not ruled out backing another candidate. In February 2014, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of the Labor Party became the first candidate to receive the required 10 nominations from Knesset members. Four days before the election, Ben-Eliezer was investigated by the police on corruption charges and subsequently withdrew from the race.