No clear winner in Israeli election: Israeli TV exit polls

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Jerusalem (Reuters) – Israel’s election on Tuesday was too close to call, according to TV exit polls, with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponents falling short of a governing majority in parliament.

Naftali Bennett, a former defence minister who heads the ultranationalist Yamina party emerged as a potential kingmaker. He has not committed publicly to joining either a Netanyahu-led parliamentary bloc or one comprising the premier’s opponents.

Not even a world-beating COVID-19 vaccination could push Israel’s longest-serving leader into a clear majority, according to the exit polls after voting ended in the country’s fourth election in two years.

Netanyahu, 71, had campaigned on his leadership credentials based on a programme that has seen nearly 50% of Israelis receiving two vaccine shots already. Corruption charges against him, in an ongoing trial, have weighed on his popularity. He has denied any wrongdoing.