Exit polls help give us the first idea of where the parties stand, but it’s key to remember they can be quite inaccurate. The final results can take a few days to tally, but the results should be obvious long before that. The key players in this election are incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former army general, Benny Gantz.
Exit poll results
The exit polls have painted a mixed picture, proving how unreliable they can be.
Despite this, both Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz have claimed victory, as polls showed that Gantz’s centrist Blue and White Party and Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud had won about the same number of seats in the 120-member parliament.
But with neither party capturing a ruling majority in the Knesset, the polls, on the country’s main TV channels, put Netanyahu in a stronger position to form a government with the help of right-wing factions.
Once the votes are tallied, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will ask all the political parties that have secured a seat in the Knesset who they support for Prime Minister.
After consulting with the heads of the parties, he will announce his decision.
These consultations take a few days, and the President is likely to announce his decision about a week after the elections.
From that point, the party leader appointed to the task has six weeks to form a government.
If they fail, the task is then assigned to another party’s leader.
Though unlikely, it is possible that neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor Benny Gantz will be able to form a coalition.
If that happens, the country would go through a three-month period of attempted coalition building.