Benjamin Netanyahu could become Israeli prime minister again: initial forecasts after the polls closed on Tuesday evening predict the chairman of the right-wing Likud party to have a narrow majority. According to this, the Likud and its allied parties together have 61 to 62 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Likud will again be the strongest party with 30 or 31 seats. According to the forecasts, the party “Religious Zionism” also did well with 14 to 15 mandates; so far there had been six.
Current Prime Minister Jair Lapid’s party, Yesh Atid (There is a Future), is forecast to have between 22 and 24 Knesset seats; should this be confirmed, it would have remained below expectations. Together, the parties supporting Lapid have between 54 and 55 seats.
The forecasts are based on post-election surveys. More precise results are only available after the votes have been counted manually. Due to the complicated system of offsetting surplus votes, it can take until Wednesday or Thursday before the final result is available. Two hours before the end of voting, the turnout was the highest in decades.
The election had become necessary because the eight-party coalition that had been in power since June 2021 broke up in early summer. According to numerous observers, the election – the fifth in around three and a half years – resembled a referendum on the person Netanyahu. The 73-year-old politician, who is the subject of several corruption cases, was also the dominant issue in the previous elections.