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LIVE BLOG – Exit polls predict dead heat after Israel’s 2021 election

No leader has a clear route to a majority in the Knesset at the end of voting in the fourth election in two years

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Midnight update

• Exit polls suggest both main blocs in Israel have a route to forming the next government of Israel, but both are short a 61-seat majority

• The parties supporting Benjamin Netanyahu are predicted to take between 54-55 seats

• The parties opposed to him are predicted to win 59 seats

Naftali Bennett looks set to become kingmaker with the potential to pick either side

• Gideon Saar, who broke away from Likud before the election but appears set for a disappointing night, has repeated his commitment not to join a Netanyahu government

• Labour’s Merav Michaeli hailed her party’s rival after it appeared comfortably over the electoral threshold

• Voting counting has begun since the polls closed two hours ago

• Turnout is markedly down on previous election