Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to be again tasked with forming a government for the sixth time remained up in the air late Tuesday, after exit polls predicted a stalemate.
The television exit polls showed no clear winner in the election.
In all three surveys, Netanyahu cannot form a right-wing government without Blue and White or Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu.
The final unofficial results were only expected on Wednesday afternoon, but according to an exit poll on Channel 13, whose pollster Camil Fuchs had the most accurate exit poll in the April election, Netanyahu’s Likud party won 31 seats, and his Center-Right bloc a total of 54 seats. The Center-Left bloc of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz won 58 and his party won 33.
Turnout in the race was higher than expected, even though Israelis went to the polls for the second time in five months. Arab turnout was up significantly from the 49% in the April 9 election.
The exit poll gave 13 seats for the Joint List, eight each for Yisrael Beytenu, Shas and United Torah Judaism and six each for Yamina, the Democratic Union and Labor-Gesher. Otzma Yehudit did not cross the threshold in any of three polls aired Tuesday night on the three networks.
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.
An exit poll on Channel 12 predicted 34 for Blue and White, 33 for Likud, 11 for the Joint List, eight each for Yamina, Yisrael Beytenu, Shas, and UTJ and five each for the Democratic Union and Labor-Gesher.
Channel 11’s poll gave 32 each for Blue and White and Likud, 12 for the Joint List, 10 for Yisrael Beytenu, nine for Shas, eight for UTJ, seven for Yaimina and five each for the Democratic Union and Labor-Gesher.