JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz both claimed victory in Tuesday's election after exit polls predicted a parliamentary majority for rightist parties under the incumbent but a big showing for Gantz's party.
"We won! The Israeli public has had its say!" said Gantz's centrist Blue and White party, which two out of three exit polls saw taking more seats than Netanyahu's conservative Likud. A third exit poll predicted the two parties would be tied.
However, two of the polls predicted that right-wing parties would together take more than 60 of parliament's 120 seats, forming a bloc that Netanyahu could marshal to form the next coalition government. The third exit poll predicted this bloc would be tied with centre-left parties tilted toward Gantz.
"The rightist bloc led by Likud has won a clear victory," Netanyahu said in a statement. "I will begin forming a right-wing government with our natural partner this very night."
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Frances Kerry)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Apr 10, 2019 02:06:31 IST