Martha open exit polls showed the results of Israel’s repeat general election was too close to call on Tuesday as media and some supporters of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu waited for updated at the Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Vote counting is underway in Israel. Israeli Television projected the Netanyahu’s right-wing party would win between 31 and 33 of Parliament’s 120 seats, but shows the party of his opponents former Military Chief of staff been egad with 32 to 34 parliament seats.
According to the first round of exit polls, which are unofficial and can be unreliable, Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition bloc have failed to secure the 61-seat majority they needed.
Two exit polls put Gantz’s party in a narrow lead. A Channel 12 exit poll said it would win 34 seats, with Netanyahu’s Likud one seat behind. The poll had Arab Joint List on 11 seats with eight for former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s far-right Yisrael Beiteinu.
Meanwhile, an exit poll on Channel 13 put Likud at 31 seats, trailing Gantz’s party by two seats.
Official preliminary results will be announced on Wednesday with final results due on September 25.
The tight race means Netanyahu’s battle for a record fifth term could stretch on for days or even weeks because coalition’s are the key to victory in Israel and negotiations have been known to drag out Tuesday’s vote followed and inconclusive election in april in which Netanyahu failed to put together a government israel’s longest serving prime minister is also facing possible criminal charges in three corruption cases.
Majdi Halabi, an analyst and expert on Israeli affairs, said the initial unofficial results were a “slap in the face” for the prime minister.
Some 31 parties were competing for the 120 seats in the country’s 22nd Knesset.
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