Benjamin Netanyahu was on track on Wednesday morning to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, despite his Likud party winning the same number of seats as the party of his main rival. With 97% of votes counted, both Likud and the Blue and White party, led by the former army general Benny Gantz, had won 35 seats in the 120-seat parliament, the Knesset. However, results showed Netanyahu would be in a much better position to form a majority governing coalition made up of nationalist, far-right and religious allies. Gantz had fewer potential factions to partner with.
Hours before it was clear what the result would be, both Netanyahu and Gantz declared victory to their supporters, buoyed by exit polls showing they had strong figures
- Israeli election: Netanyahu appears on track for victory despite tied result
- Israel election: Netanyahu and rival Gantz tied with 97% of vote counted – live updates