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With almost 80% of votes counted Netanyahu bloc headed for victory, Meretz on cusp

Meretz party supporters react as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022. (Flash90)
Meretz party supporters react as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem November 1, 2022. (Flash90)

With just under 80% of the votes counted Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc continues to lead, and the left-wing Meretz party is on the cusp of crossing the threshold.

The Central Elections Committee has so far counted 3,863,484 votes, with 22,801 invalidated.

Based on the current count, Netanyahu’s bloc would pick up 65 seats, though this number will change as more ballots are processed.

Exit polls have predicted 62 seats for Netanyahu’s bloc, enough to secure a majority and form a coalition in the 120-seat Knesset.

The left-wing Meretz party is currently a hair short of the 3.25% vote minimum needed to win Knesset representation, with 3.23%, although some pollsters have predicted the party will pass and win four-five seats in the final tally.

The opposition Arab Balad party is also closing in on the threshold with 3.07% of total votes.

The Islamist Ra’am party, projected to win four seats in exit polls, is currently well over the electoral threshold at 4.25%, according to the current count, as is Hadash-Ta’al with 3.94%.

If Ra’am, Balad, or Meretz fail to win Knesset representation it will further boost Netanyahu’s prospects for forming a coalition, but if all three make it, it could stymie his chances.

The ongoing count is not representative of the overall vote since ballots come in from different areas of the country at different times, and the percentages allotted to each party will likely shift as the tally continues.

 

 

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