Exit Polls: Benjamin Netanyahu Defeats Benny Gantz In Israel Election With 60-Seat Bloc

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Greg Price Contributor
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After two elections in which the Knesset dissolved, exit polls of Israel’s third election in one year indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party will be able to form a government over opposition leader Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party.

Netanyahu’s Likud won 36-37 seats. Its allies Shas, UTJ and Yamina won 9, 7-8 and 6-7.

Gantz’s Blue and White won 33 seats, its ally Labor-Gesher-Meretz 6-7, the Joint List 14-15 and Yisrael Beytenu 6-8.

Immediately following the announcement of the polls from three of Israel’s television networks, Prime Minister Netanyahu, currently under indictment for bribery, tweeted “Thanks.”

Likud only needs one more seat in order to obtain the 61 needed to form a government. The numbers are expected to change as the votes of IDF soldiers, have not yet been counted.

The turnout for the unprecedented third election was up from the previous two elections.

Blue and White MKs said they were disappointed with the results but that they expect neither the party to break up, nor the resignation of Benny Gantz as party leader.

If successful in forming a government, Netanyahu will win his 5th nonconsecutive term as Prime Minister of Israel.