Israel polls: Netanyahu expected to win third term
Jerusalem: Israel`s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win a third term with a thumping mandate for his rightwing coalition in general elections amid voter apathy and disarray in centre-left parties.
Polls for 120-member Knesset (Israeli Parliament) opened early this morning and will close late at night.
The Central Elections Committee announced that 38.3 per cent of Israelis had voted by 2 pm, compared to 30.9 per cent at the same point in 2006. The figure is much higher than voter turnout at the same hour in the last general elections in 2009.
63-year-old Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara and his two sons Yair and Avner, cast his ballot early at the Paula Ben Gurion School in Jerusalem.
Amid the impressive voter turnout, Netanyahu expressed concern over relatively low turnout in traditional Likud Party dominated neighbourhoods and called on supporters to "leave everything and go vote".
"There are reports that in regions that have traditionally been Likud strongholds, turnout has been lower than the national average," Netanyahu said during a visit to Ashdod. "I therefore call on all generations of Likud voters to leave everything and go vote."
Earlier, all the opinion polls conducted by leading newspapers and agencies have predicted victory for the right bloc led by Netanyahu.
Some 5.65 million Israelis are eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections and over 20,000 security personnel have been deployed to secure the vote.
The hawkish leader`s possible return is being seen as a bad omen for prospects of resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians that may lead to Israel`s increased international isolation.
Netanyahu, who came under severe international criticism for the deadlock in peace talks with the Palestinians over the issue of settlements, has centred his campaign on success in pushing the Iranian nuclear threat to the top of the global agenda and keeping the Jewish state`s economy relatively stable despite a worldwide recession.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- EU warns Pakistan of political and economic sanctions over atrocities in Baloch
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- SHOCKING VIDEO: This man was trying to take selfie with python - You won't believe what happened next!
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31
- Call up this number and get Reliance Jio's SIM for sure
- WATCH: Ravichandran Ashwin's magic ball that bamboozled Kane Williamson on Day 3
- If you have guts, send your suicide bombers to Pakistan: Samajwadi Party to MNS' Raj Thackeray