Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to carry on after a decade in office with a historic victory in Tuesday’s election, and to be tasked with forming a government for the sixth time, remained up in the air late on Tuesday, after exit polls predicted a stalemate.
The final unofficial results were only expected on Wednesday afternoon, but according to exit polls on all three channels, neither Netanyahu nor Gantz had a clear path to a coalition.
Turnout in the race was 69.4% – higher than expected – even though Israelis went to the polls for the second time in five months. Arab turnout was up from 49% in the April 9 election.
According to Channel 13, Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has a total of 54 seats, and the center-left bloc of Blue and White 58, including the Joint List. The other two polls gave the Center-Right bloc an advantage: 57-55 in Channel 12’s poll, and 56-54 in Channel 11’s.
President Reuven Rivlin said midday on Tuesday that he would coordinate with the Central Elections Committee when to begin consultations with the factions that crossed the 3.25% electoral threshold in order to determine who should form a government.
Netanyahu spoke to leaders of Yamina, United Torah Judaism and Shas, and told them he still wants to form a right-wing coalition. Continue Reading…