Netanyahu visit Western Wall after voting, Jan. 22, 2013.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Central Elections Committee reported higher than expected voter turnout
with 63.7% percent of eligible voters casting their ballot by 8 p.m., as opposed
to the 59.7% of Israelis who voted by 8 p.m. in the 2009 Knesset
election. The voter turnout numbers marked the highest rate since the1999 election.
Central Elections Committee statistician
Avraham Diskin said Tuesday that if the current rate of voting
continues, turnout could top 70%, Channel 10 reported.
cautioned, however, that "we have seen in the past that the trend can
change at 8:00 p.m. Polls were set to close at 10 p.m., after which exit
polls prognosticating the results of the elections were set to be
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lamented the relatively low turnout
in traditional Likud neighborhoods in the elections despite the high voter turnout across Israel.
are reports that in regions that have traditionally been Likud
strongholds, turnout has been lower than the national average,"
Netanyahu said during a visit to a polling station in Ashdod. "I
therefore call on all generations of Likud voters to drop everything and
is widely expected to be tapped to form the next government, although
final polls taken in the run-up to Tuesday's vote indicated that while his
Likud-Beytenu party would indeed claim the most seats, there would be a
significant drop from the 42 seats that it boasted when Likud and
Yisrael Beytenu joined forces back in October. Check out our live blog here: