Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party are struggling for political survival after Tuesday's election showed that the race is too short and the Israeli leader's decades-long grip wears off. A revised poll released by Israel's public broadcaster Kan early Wednesday predicted that Blue and White would win 32 seats and Likud 31 in the Knesset with 120 seats. The votes are counted through the night. However, it could take weeks for the next government and the next prime minister to be discussed. Mr. Mr. Netanyahu's main voter, centrist Benny Gantz, said Wednesday that after the exit polls, Israel's longest-serving leader had been defeated. Adding only official results would show.
Mr. Netanyahu reportedly made no claim to victory or concession in his speech to his right-wing Likud party.
His appearance in the middle of the night at the Likud The election office was far from his bold statement five months ago that he had won a close election.
The Prime Minister's failure to form a government following the April vote led to the new elections on Tuesday.
Mr. Gantz sounded more optimistic when he spoke to the supporters a little earlier.
He said, "Of course we will wait for actual results, but it seems we have accomplished our mission, unity and reconciliation ahead of us."
Polls from Israeli TV stations first predicted 30-33 seats for Netanyahu's Likud party, while 32-34 seats for Gatz's blue-and-white party were predicted to be difficult to campaign.
"We are still waiting for the real results, but one thing is clear: the state of Israel is at a historic juncture and we have faced great opportunities and great challenges."
Avigdor Lieberman, Chairman of Yisrael Beitenu, demanded Given the results of the exit survey, a government of national unity.
Mr. Gantz, a former Chief of the Armed Forces, beamed with confidence as he told a rally of his Blue-and-White party that it looked like "we've accomplished our mission."
He promised to work towards the formation of a unity government.
The final election results may take more than a week, but partial results will be published by the Knesset as part of the vote count.
This means that there will probably be a clearer picture within a day of the final count.
Around 6 o'clock in the morning about a quarter of the votes had been counted.
Revised polls by Israeli broadcasters, a few hours after polls were completed, gave Likud 30 out of 33 of Parliament's 1
When did the vote end?
Voting in Israel ended today at 10:00 pm local time (8:00 pm BST) after starting at 7:00 pm local time.
After that, polls end, election campaigns are released, and negotiations to form a new government are expected to begin.
President Reuven Rivlin will then ask the party leader to most likely bring together a coalition of more than 60 MPs.
After that, on request, this leader will have 28 days to form a government – with a slight extension.
However, if the leader does not form a coalition government, the president may ask another party leader to give it a try.
Parties will seek a majority of 61 seats to lead a coalition government.
Who is the candidate for the elections in Israel?
There is currently strong competition between the right-wing Likud party of Netanyahu and the centrist of Benny GantzBlaue and White Party.
Avigdor Lieberman's party Yisrael Beitenu is also in focus as they could be involved in forming a coalition. However, both parties may have difficulty forming a majority coalition with Avigdor Lieberman smaller allied parties – which may lead to the two major parties being forced into a single government.
Smaller parties must exceed the minimum requirement of 3.25 percent to enter parliament.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized for his plans to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank if he wins the parliamentary elections.
Israel's Attorney General has also recommended criminal charges against the current Prime Minister in three corruption cases. A hearing before the trial is scheduled for next month.
] It is believed that Mr. Netanyahu will pass a law granting him immunity from prosecution if he is re-elected for a fifth term.