Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses supporters of his Likud party after polls closed in the elections. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and the Blue and White party, led by Benny Gantz, are tied with 32 seats each with more than 85% of votes counted from Tuesday’s election.

The latest: The center-left and right-wing blocs, led by Gantz and Netanyahu respectively, were also roughly tied with 55-56 seats each on Wednesday morning. The Israel Beitenu party, led by former Defense Minister Avidor Lieberman, looks set to win about 10 seats.

Why it matters: Netanyahu has failed to get the right-wing bloc to a 61-seat majority — which would have allowed him to form a government that would grant him immunity from 3 pending corruption indictments.

  • Gantz hasn't won either, so can’t easily form a center-left coalition.

The big picture: The results so far suggest that Avigdor Lieberman is going to be the kingmaker after the election.

  • Lieberman has already announced he wants to form a secular national unity government with Gantz and Netanyahu both included.

Yes, but: Forming a unity government would be very hard because of Netanyahu’s legal situation ahead of a hearing on Oct. 3.

  • Gantz ruled out joining a unity government led by Netanyahu during the campaign.
  • Netanyahu says he won’t join a unity government led by Gantz.

The bottom line: If both Gantz and Netanyahu stick to their positions, Israel will be thrown into an even deeper political crisis — and potentially an election for the third time in a year.   

Go deeper: Read Axios' Israel election preview

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

5 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.