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Israeli elections: Post-poll predictions show Netanyahu may fall short of a majority

Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party tied with the centrist Blue and White, for securing an outright majority

Tel AVIVIsraelis voted on Tuesday for the second time in less than six months in an election that could see PM Benjamin Netanyahu win a record fifth term or end his decade long dominance of Israeli Politics.

Netanyahu faces a formidable challenge to his reign and possible criminal charges in three corruption cases.

The last polls taken before election day show a race that is too close to call. They predict Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party tied with the centrist Blue and white, with neither securing an outright majority.

Also Read: Fresh elections to be held in Israel as Netanyahu fails to form a govt

However, about 10 parties are likely to win parliament seats. The polls also show increasing support for a right-wing, Pro-Netanyahu of factions that could hand him a victory.

If confirmed by official result the outcome would be a clear disappointment too for Netanyahu, an indomitable campaigner who blitzed the country through the final hours of the race. With two of his allied right-wing religious parties falling short, Political analyst could identify no ready path for Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in office.

Israeli exit polls are often imprecise, and final results expected on Wednesday could still be in Netanyahu’s favour.

According to those polls neither Likud nor Blue and White, with their smaller respective allies, could control a majority in the 120-seat parliament without the support of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party. That put Lieberman- a formers protege of Netanyahu who has become one of the PM fiercest rivals in the position of Kingmakers.

Israel’s election commission said 69.4 per cent of all eligible voters cast ballots by the time polls closed on Tuesday evening a slightly larger number than took part in April’s vote. Turnout in April’s elections was 68.5 per cent.

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