Over 67.2 per cent eligible voters cast their ballots to elect a new Parliament yesterday. This was the fourth parliamentary elections in two-years to elect 120-member Knesset. Israel’s Central Elections Committee does not expect all of the votes to be counted this afternoon due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
According to exit polls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and its allies are projected to win 52 or 53 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Mr Netanyahu has been in power continuously since 2009, having served an earlier three-year term in the late 1990s.
His campaign focused on Israel’s world-leading Covid-19 vaccination programme and his diplomatic success in normalising ties with some Arab countries. Yair Lapid, a former finance minister who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party, has emerged as Netanyahu’s main challenger.