Update March 18, 2015

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Netanyahu claims poll ‘victory’ in Israel election

Sumel Sarker

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Netanyahu claims poll ‘victory’ in Israel election.

18 March 2015, Nirapad News: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed victory in Israel’s parliamentary election.

This was despite TV exit polls suggesting his Likud party had finished in a virtual tie with the left-of-centre Zionist Union, reports the BBC.

Netanyahu said he had already spoken to the leaders of other right-of-centre parties about forming a new government. But opposition leader Yitzha Herzog said the result showed his alliance could not be ignored.

Estimates by two Israeli broadcasters gave both sides 27 seats each in the 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

In a speech to his jubilant supporters in Tel Aviv, Mr Netanyahu described Tuesday’s vote as a “great victory” for the right-wing Likud party, which is now credited with a better result than expected.

Likud had trailed the centre-left Zionist Union in opinion polls in the run-up to the poll. Netanyahu said the result was achieved ‘against all odds’. He urged the leaders of what he described as Israel’s ‘national camp’ to create ‘a government without delay’.

However, the centre-left Zionist Union dismissed what it termed ‘spin’ from Likud as ‘premature’.

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