The first exit polls have been released from the Knesset election today - and it seems like the tightest race between Herzog and Netanyahu. The Likud party has 28 seats in parliament and the Zionist party has 27 seats, according to Channel 2's poll. Furthermore, 'Jerusalem Post' reports that according to polls from Channel 10 and Channel 1, both parties have 27 mandates in parliament.
Apparently there will be a deadlock between current Prime Minister Netanyahu from the Likud Party and Herzog from the Zionist Party. The night will be a long process of negotiations and coalition-building. Netanyahu and Herzog are facing negotiations with the smaller parties, which will determine the next prime minister of Israel.
The 27 seats of the Likud are perceived as a huge success of Netanyahu's campaign, and his success might be ongoing in coalition-building and secure his position as Prime Minister. However, only when all results are published one will know which government will be formed. None of the parties should celebrate too early.
However, first news say that Bennett from the Jewish Home Party agreed to talk with Netanyahu. The Jewish Home Party had losses, however, when both parties decided to enter into negotiations and build a coalition it seemed like a win for both. The Arab Joint List leaders seem to be divided internally about siding with the Zionist party. During the next coming hours discussion will take place between the Zionist party and the Arab Joint List, who are not favouring any right-wing government. Furthermore, Kahlon from the Kulano party is a further important partner for Herzog and Netanyahu.
In general, the voter turnout was very high in Israel compared to the last years. 'The Guardian' reports a turnout of 71,8 %, showing the high importance and interest of people in Israel, who are now waiting for final results. Supporters of Netanyahu are celebrating already his victory, whereas the Zionist movement supporters are waiting for final results and highlight that nothing is decided yet.