Jerusalem, Apr 10: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is tied with Blue and White at 35 seats each as 95 per cent of counting of votes were completed in the 21st Knesset poll on Wednesday, however, the right-wing bloc has a clear advantage over the left to help Mr Netanyahu to form a coalition government.
The PM's party had snagged 26.28 per cent of the vote, or 35 seats in the 120-seat legislature- the party’s best result since the 2003 election (when it won 38 seats under Ariel Sharon), and its best under Mr Netanyahu. So far, the right-wing bloc have secured 65 seats in total, Times of Israel reported.
On the other hand, the Blue and White party led by former military chief Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid polled 25.97 per cent of vote and also secured 35 seats. Except Likud and Blue and White, no other party appeared to break double digits in number of seats.
Ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism have won eight seats each, while Yisrael Beiteinu and the Union of Right-Wing Parties five, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu four. The Labor party and Arab-majority Hadash-Ta'al gets six votes each. Meretz has four seats, and United Arab List-Balad barely makes it over the 3.25-per cent electoral threshold, securing four seats in the 21st Knesset poll.
Mr Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term in office that would make him Israel’s longest-serving leader, surpassing first Prime Minister of the country David Ben-Gurion. (UNI)