(April 9, 2019 / JNS) Exit polls released right after the conclusion of voting in Israel showing that the Blue and White Party headed by Benny Gantz has a narrow lead over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
According to Israel’s Channel 12, it has Gantz’s Blue and White leading Netanyahu’s Likud by four seats, 37-33, while a i24NEWS poll also had a large lead for Gantz with 33 seats over 27 projected for Netanyahu.
However, other exit polls showed a much closer race, Israel’s Channel 13 had both leaders tied with 36 seats each, while Kan had an exit poll showing Blue and White with a one-seat advantage over Likud 37-36.
Nevertheless, Israel’s Channel 13 did show that the right-wing bloc would likely sit in a coalition with Netanyahu has 66 seats compared to 54 seats for the center-left.
Outside of the major parties, some of the biggest surprises from the early exit polls was that the New Right Party headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked did not cross the 3.25 percent threshold to enter the Knesset. Similarly, the Libertarian-Nationalist Party Zehut, headed by Moshe Feiglin also did not garner enough votes to break the threshold, according to Channel 12 and 13 polls, as well as Kan.
However, other parties seem to have done better than expected with former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu Party crossing the threshold with four seats, according to Kan and Channel 13 polls. Similarly, the Kulanu Party headed by former Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon also crossed the threshold as well.