Turnout in Israeli election on track to be lowest since 2009
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Turnout in Israeli election on track to be lowest since 2009

Polling stations will remain open until 8pm UK time as Israelis vote in an unprecedented fourth successive general election

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

An early voter prepares to cast her ballot in Tel Aviv on Wednesday (Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)
An early voter prepares to cast her ballot in Tel Aviv on Wednesday (Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Turnout was reported to be sharply down in Tuesday’s Israeli election, with hours remaining until voting ends in the fourth election in under two years.

Barely 51.5% of the electorate had cast ballots by 6pm (4pm in the UK), a lower share by this stage in any election since 2009.

By this stage at the last election in March 2020, 56.3% had voted.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will accept voters in most places until 10pm.

The election was called after a power-sharing deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the defence minister, collapsed at the end of last year.

It had been in office for less than six months.

Netanyahu, prime minister since 2009, is hoping voters will recognise him for a successful coronavirus vaccine rollout and a diplomatic outreach that has seen Israel establish ties with a number of Arab countries.

But the opposition have pointed to an ongoing corruption trial against him and his divisive rhetoric.

Israel has not had a stable government in place since April 2019, with voters divided in successive elections between the Netanyahu-led bloc and the opposition.

But opinion polls forecast a tight race in this election too.

The first results are expected in the early hours of Wednesday morning and most observers expect the outcome to be clear by the afternoon.

The Jewish News will be following the results live on its website overnight.

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