The former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, could add a sufficient majority to return to power in Israel, with his Likud party as the most voted, and the bloc of right-wing and religious formations that support him would add between 61 and 62 deputies, enough to form a government, according to exit polls. It would be the coalition furthest to the right in the history of the country.
The anti-Netanyahu camp, led by the current acting head of government, Yair Lapid, remains at 54-55 seats, according to the first polls published at the close of the polls at 10:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. GMT).
Since 2019, the country has held four different elections, all of which have revolved around whether Netenyahu was fit for office as the politician has been prosecuted for corruption and fraud. It was in the last elections last summer that Lapid’s coalition government was able to remove the prime minister after 12 years.
Lapid’s formation, the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future), achieved an average of 23 seats, its best result, but the amalgamation of right, center and left parties that would support him to create an anti-Netanyahu front has not gathered enough support .
However, these are preliminary figures, which can still dance a lot throughout the morning, while the count progresses, and the final results will not be known until Friday.
The polls showed, however, that the right-wing religious group, allied with the anti-Palestinian extremists, would not obtain an absolute majority, but there was concern about the participation of the Arab population, which is key on this election day.
The novelty of these elections has been the rise of the Jewish supremacist far-right, agglutinated in the Religious Zionism movement – openly racist, anti-Arab and homophobic – which has established itself as the third most voted force with between 14 and 15 seats, which are added to the pro-Netanyahu camp. It is the best result in its history, after the 6 deputies they achieved in the last elections of March 2021 and being a marginal movement until a few years ago.
The ultra-Orthodox parties, also allies of Netanyahu, have 17 seats: 10 for Shas, which represents the Sephardic and Mizrahi haredis, and 7 for United Judaism of the Torah, a party of the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazim.