Projected Results of Israel Election

With nearly all votes in Israel's general election counted, here is the preliminary distribution of seats in Israel's 120-seat parliament, according to Israeli media calculations.

The results do not include the votes of soldiers, prisoners and diplomats, which are expected to be counted by Thursday afternoon and could affect the numbers.

Incumbent premier Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud was on path for victory despite being tied with Blue and White since he would be able to form a coalition government with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox partners.

Likud: 35 (right)- Headed by Netanyahu, the Likud holds liberal economic positions alongside support for Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

- The attorney general however has announced his intention to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending a hearing, with proceedings set to begin in the coming months.

Blue and White: 35 (centrist)- Blue and White was formed ahead of the elections by Benny Gantz, a former armed forces chief of staff who is a newcomer to politics. He allied with two other former military chiefs, Moshe Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as Yair Lapid, a former finance minister whose centrist Yesh Atid had 11 seats in the previous parliament.

- The 59-year-old Gantz touts his military service and accuses Netanyahu of being corrupt and sowing division, but the two hold similar views on security issues and Israel's approach to the Palestinians.

Shas: 8 (ultra-Orthodox)- Shas, which represents ultra-Orthodox Sephardi Jews, was part of Netanyahu's outgoing coalition and has already announced its support for the premier to form a new one. 

UTJ: 8 (ultra-Orthodox)- United Torah Judaism represents ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, and like Shas has announced its support for Netanyahu. Its objection to obligatory military service for Jewish seminary students made them a difficult match for the army-oriented Blue and White.

Hadash-Taal: 6 (Arab)- Hadash, headed by Ayman Odeh, is a secular Arab-led party with communist roots that ran with Ahmed Tibi's Taal. The list broke off from an alliance of four Arab parties in the outgoing parliament.

Labour: 6 (centre-left)- Labour dominated Israeli politics for years after the country's foundation in 1948, but has lost support as Israeli politics has moved to the right. Its leader Avi Gabbay has embraced a range of positions that run the political gamut.

Israel Beitenu: 5 (nationalist)- Avigdor Lieberman quit Netanyahu's coalition last year demanding stronger action against Gaza militants. His move eventually helped trigger Tuesday's early election. His party -- which represents immigrants from the former Soviet Union -- maintains hardline rightwing positions.

United Right: 5 (far-right religious)- Netanyahu facilitated an alliance of Jewish Home, National Union and the controversial Jewish Power movement composed of followers of the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane in a bid to ensure that right-wing votes -- even far-right ones -- did not go to waste in the arithmetic of coalition-building. The alliance did not win enough seats for Jewish Power's candidate to enter parliament.

Meretz: 4 (left)- The leftwing party, led by Tamar Zandberg, managed to cross the electoral threshold requiring 3.25 percent of the vote to enter parliament after fears it may not do so.

Kulanu: 4 (centre-right)- Outgoing finance minister Moshe Kahlon, who split from the Likud to form Kulanu ahead of the 2015 election, largely supports Netanyahu's positions while putting more of an emphasis on social issues. 

Balad-Raam: 4 (Arab nationalist-religious)- After the Joint List split, Arab nationalist group Balad joined forces with Raam, which represents the moderate wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Failed to pass the threshold- Outgoing Education Minister Naftali Bennett and outgoing Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked broke off from the far-right Jewish Home to form The New Right, but failed to enter parliament on the results so far. Soldiers' votes could push them over the threshold.

- Opinion polls had shown Moshe Feiglin's Zehut party winning at least five seats on its motley platform of Jewish religious nationalism, libertarianism and marijuana legalisation but it failed to pass the threshold.

Source: Agence France Presse

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