Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory in Israel’s general election.
“What a joyous night. This victory is especially sweet, because it is a victory against all odds” Netanyahu said to a crowd of supporters. “We turned lemons into lemonade.”
The final voter turnout was 71% up from 69.8% in the previous election.
Per USAToday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party won the most votes Monday in the country’s third election in 12 months, partial results showed, although it was not clear if it will be enough to break the nation’s political deadlock.
With more than three-quarters of the votes counted, Netanyahu appeared a few seats short of a majority in Israel’s parliament. Netanyahu needs 61 seats out of 120 to form a government – possible if he enters into an alliance with religious and nationalist parties.
Full results are due Tuesday.
BBC reports exit polls suggest his right-wing bloc is on course to win 59 seats to become the biggest group but still short of a majority by two seats.
Nevertheless, Mr Netanyahu declared the outcome “the biggest win of my life.”
Monday’s election was Israel’s third in less than a year, after neither leader was able to form a government.
The election took place two weeks before the Mr Netanyahu is due in court to face corruption charges, which he denies.
How close is the race?
Initial projections after voting ended forecast 60 seats for the right-wing bloc, but this was later revised down to 59.
The opposition centre and centre-left parties are on course to win 54-55 seats, according to the exit polls.
Mr Gantz, who jointly leads the Blue and White party, did not immediately concede defeat, but accepted that the exit polls did not appear promising.
“I realise and share your feelings of disappointment and pain, for this isn’t the result that we wanted to happen,” he said.
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