The exit polls from two of Israel’s main television stations showed the Zionist Union and Likud were tied at around 27-28 Knesset seats each in the 2015 Knesset elections.
Channel 2 television had the Likud in the lead, with 28 seats, Zionist Union a close second on 27. It had the Joint Arab list in third with 13, Yesh Atid in fourth on 12, and Kulanu in fifth with 10 seats. Bayit Yehudi polled at 8, Shas 7, Yahadut Hatorah at 6 and Meretz at 5.
Despite the gap in polls, the numbers do not necessarily rule out Netanyahu’s chances of forming the next government after Tuesday’s election but have rattled the Likud, which began the campaign all but assured that it would stay in office.
In recent days it has been on a get-out-the-vote blitz with Netanyahu warning against the rise of a left-wing government in a series of interviews.
The ballot box opened at 7am and closed at 10pm, after 15 hours of voting in more than 10,000 locations across Israel.
A fairly robust turnout of 13.7 percent by 10am soon began to slow, and by 2pm, a turnout of 36.7 percent was lower than that of the 2013 elections.