Apr 9, 2019

Israeli election: Updated exit polls show Netanyahu on course to win

Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Getty

Fresh exit polls from Israel's two main television channels show a narrow victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: This would be the fourth consecutive election victory for Netanyahu, who has led Israel for the past 10 years and 13 years in total. He campaigned while facing indictments for bribery, breach of trust and fraud.

  • According to Channel 13's updated exit poll, Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party won 35 seats while centrist challenger Benny Gantz's Blue and White party won 34 seats. The poll shows right-wing bloc with 65 seats and the centre-left bloc with 55.
  • Channel 12's updated poll shows Likud with 35 seats and Blue and White with 34. According to this exit poll, the right-wing bloc has 63 seats and the centre-left bloc won 57 seats. 

The backdrop: This year's elections were called early due to fractures within Netanyahu's ruling coalition. The race was the dirtiest and most negative in Israel's history, with several foreign countries, including the U.S. and Russia, exerting influence in the final weeks of the campaign.

Go deeper

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday.

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