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Israel's Netanyahu announces 'colossal victory' after election exit polls

10 April 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early on Wednesday that it is a night of colossal victory, after updated exit polls of the country's national elections on Tuesday.

The polls showed Netanyahu's Likud winning more parliamentary seats than his main challenger Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White Party. One of three surveys put Blue and White a seat ahead of Likud. Though neither party captured a ruling majority in the 120-member Knesset, according to the polls, the surveys put Netanyahu in a stronger position to form a coalition government with right-wing factions, key to an ultimate victory.

Netanyahu's prospects of becoming Israel's longest-serving prime minister appeared to improve as the night went on. Partial results with 40 percent of votes counted gave Likud 40 seats, 10 more than in the previous election in 2015, and Blue and White 35, according to Kan public television and the Ynet news site.