According to The Times of Israel (timesofisrael.com), with about 90% of the votes counted, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is being edged out by Benny Gantz’s upstart Blue and White Party, winning 32 seats in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) to 31 for Likud. The remaining 57 seats are split among Israel’s other political parties.
This does not mean Netanyahu will not pull out a tiny majority when all the votes are cast. And even if he does not, Netanyahu can still retain his position as Prime Minister. Since neither party will have anywhere near the necessary 61 seat majority, the winner will be the candidate most successful in forming a coalition with the other parties.
Confusing? Yes. Complex? Yes. Seemingly unworkable? Yes. But somehow it manages to keep putting Prime Ministers in office.
If I were betting, I would put Netanyahu’s chances at better than 50% – if, for no other reason, voter inertia. But there is a very good chance that he will not survive this election.
We’ll have to wait and see.