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    Israeli Opposition Bloc Edging Out Netanyahu's Likud in Knesset Election - Exit Poll

    © REUTERS / Amir Cohen
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli opposition centrist Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance is leading the election to the Israeli parliament with possible 33 seats, while the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party gets 31 seats, an exit poll of the country's Channel 13 shows.

    The broadcaster also reports that the center-left coalition is gaining 58 seats, the union of right-wing and religious parties wins 54 seats, which is not enough to form a government. The presence of the largest faction does not guarantee the party the ruling status. By law, any parliamentarian who can enlist the support of 61 out of 120 colleagues can form a government.

    Since no party in the history of Israel alone had an absolute parliamentary majority, the election victory depends not only on its own electoral weight, but also on the presence of allies ready to join the coalition or provide extra-coalition support.

    The Channel 12 exit poll also shows the lead of Blue and White, which receives 34 seats against Likud's 33. The nationalist secular Yisrael Beiteinu party of former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman receives 8 seats.

    The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan) exit poll shows that the Likud and the Blue and White may get 32 mandates each, while the Yisrael Beiteinu gets 10 seats.

    The Israeli parliament has 120 seats. Elections consist of two components: first, people vote for the party of their choice via secret ballot in a single nationwide electoral district, after which each party gets allocated a number of seats proportional to the votes it gained. The minimum vote threshold to win a seat is 3.25 percent.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to win a fifth term in office, and his major rival in the election is the former Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Benny Gantz.

    Earlier, ynetnews reported citing the Israeli Central Elections Committee that the turnout in the snap general election to Israel's unicameral parliament, had reached 53.5 percent by 6pm (20:00 GMT).

    Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the turnout at right-wing strongholds was "a disaster" on the day of the parliamentary election.

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