Exit polls by Israel’s leading television channels showed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-ditch campaign had a strong effect on the Israeli electorate. Last week’s final polls had Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union with a four-seat lead over Netanyahu’s Likud party. Announced immediately after polls closed, Israeli Channel 10 and Channel 1 said Likud and the Zionist Union had secured 27 seats each in the 120-member Knesset, while Israeli Channel 2 said that Netanyahu had eked out a narrow victory, winning 28 seats to Herzog’s 27.
But as explained here, because Netanyahu has a much better possibility of making a coalition, a tie is a victory for Bibi. The real power broker is the Kulanu party, which ran on a platform built around middle- class issues in general and banking reform in particular. The party won 9 to 10 seats and hold on the key to either coalition. While Kulanu has roots in the right, party leader Moshe Kahlon is not a big fan of Bibi. On the other hand Kulanu is hawkish on Iran and tough on terror.
Below is a summary of the exit poll results:
Also, Bibi has claimed victory on Twitter:
Against all odds:a great victory for the Likud. A major victory for the people of Israel!
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) March 17, 2015
Cross-posted at the Lid