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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proved the pollsters wrong — not once, but twice. In the weeks and days leading up to Israel’s election, his defeat was widely predicted. Then, in the hours after the vote, exit polls suggested parity between his Likud party and the center-left Zionist Union, led by his chief rival, Yitzhak Herzog, with a slight edge for the right-wing bloc. Several hours after the polls closed, it turned out that Likud was the big winner, gaining 30 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, compared to 24 for the Zionist Union.

As a result, Netanyahu will have no real difficulty in forming a right-wing government coalition. The kingmakers in the event of parity — the smaller parties and electoral lists in the center of the political spectrum — have lost most of their bargaining power.

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