Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu take 31 seats; Yesh Atid comes in second
Initial Israeli exit polls show the combined Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu ticket won the highest vote total while the new center-left Yesh Atid unexpectedly came in second.
Polls released just after polls closed at 10 p.m. on Jan. 22 reported that the Likud-Beiteinu won 31 seats, down from the 42 the two parties currently hold.
Yesh Atid, led by former television personality Yair Lapid, is projected in exit polls to receive 19 seats.
Channel 1 projected that right-wing parties collectively garnered 62 seats in total, compared to 58 for the left-wing parties.
The channel also projected 17 seats for the Labor party led by Shelly Yachimovich, 12 seats for the Jewish Home party led by Naftali Bennett, and 11 for the Sephardi Orthodox party Shas.
Hatnuah, led by Tzipi Livni, and Meretz, led by Zahava Gal-On, both received 7 seats.
The Arab-Israeli Balad party and the controversial Strong Israel party are each projected to receive two seats in the Channel 1 poll, though other polls projected they would not reach the two percent threshold.
Some 85 percent of the ballots are expected to be counted in the coming hours, with the remaining tallied and announced on the morning of Jan. 23.