Isaac Herzog, the head of Zionist Union, told an adoring crowd of supporters at party headquarters in Tel Aviv just after midnight on Tuesday that his campaign recorded "an extraordinary achievement."
"Not since Yitzhak Rabin's election victory [in 1992] have we gotten this result," Herzog said.
The Labor chairman said that the "achievement would not have been possible without the brave partnership with Tzipi Livni."
Herzog said that the Zionist Union's result "enables us to return to the government."
"It's all wide open," he said. "I've talked with the heads of all of the parties. We don't know what the end results will be, and we will wait, but I plan to do all I can to form a socioeconomic coalition, a real socioeconomic coalition for Israel."
Herzog called on the heads of smaller parties to "unite under my banner and join a national reconciliation government."