Strangely, the elections have similarity with India which will go to the polls soon.
Tel Aviv: Isreal seems to be heading for a hung verdict. Strangely, the elections have similarity with India which will go to the polls soon.
The The centrist Blue and White alliance of former military chief Benny Gantz was projected to win 36 or 37 seats, with the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking 33 to 36.
Both men have claimed victory. Incidentally, Netanyahu and Indian PM Narendra Modi are thick friends and represent right wing ideologies and harp on nationalism and security.
Two exit polls predicted that right-wing parties allied to Netanyahu were more likely to be able to form a governing coalition.
But a third exit poll predicted that the bloc would be tied with centre-left parties allied to Mr Gantz.
After the polling, Netanyahu tweeted: “The right-ring bloc led by Likud triumphed conclusively. I thank the citizens of Israel for the vote of confidence. I will begin the task of forming a right-wing government with our natural partners tonight.”
No party has ever won a majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset, and the country has always had coalition governments.
At the election night event for Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv, a huge cheer went up as the first exit poll was released.
His supporters expressed confidence that Israel could be on the brink of a new centre-ground government.
“Change is on the way,” one activist said.
But the outcome is far from clear. At the last election, the exit polls were dramatically wrong.
And the real politics start now if there is a close result – as both main parties canvas Israel’s president for the right to start talks to assemble a coalition.
Netanyahu could overtake Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion as its longest-serving prime minister if he is re-elected for a fifth term.