Dramatic deadlock in Israeli election: Gantz 32, Netanyahu 31, Arabs 15, Liberman 9

Dramatic deadlock in Israeli election: Gantz 32, Netanyahu 31, Arabs 15, Liberman 9

Exit polls show Israel’s election producing a dramatic deadlock, with PM Netanyahu failing to secure a ruling majority in the second election of 2019, and former IDF chief Benny Gantz not winning enough votes to form a government.

According to two of the polls, Kahol Lavan is leading with 32 Knesset seats, while Likud is projected to garner 32-30 seats.

All exit polls show that Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc will gain around 56 seats. The biggest party, according to the polls, is Benny Gantz’s, Kahol Lavan.

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However, since neither Netanyahu nor Gantz have gained a 61-seat majority, the two are likely to head to deliberations with President Reuven Rivlin who will determine which of them gets the mandate to try and form a governing coalition.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who has emerged as the kingmaker, said he wants to form a unity government with Netanyahu and Gantz.

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“I hope both parties publicly announce their plans to form a broad liberal government and, of course, I would highly recommend it without even being asked,” Liberman said.

“There is only one option – a liberal national unity government made up of Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beytenu,” he said

In all the polls, the Joint List of Arabs is projected to have the third most seats, while Yamina, led by Ayelet Shaked, is projected to win 6-7 seats, and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu is expected to receive 8-9 seats.

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The ultra-Orthodox Shas party is projected to win nine seats In all three polls. United Torah Judaism is projected to win 7-8 seats.

The Democratic Union party is projected to win 5-6 seats, whereas Labor-Gesher, which teetered on the edge of the electoral threshold in polls leading up to the vote, is projected to win six seats in all three exit polls.