World

Israeli election results show clear win for Netanyahu after hard-fought race

Workers remove an election campaign billboard of the Likud party showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramat Gan, Israel, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, a day after Israel held legislative election. Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party scored a resounding victory in Israel's election, final results showed Wednesday, a stunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy. The Hebrew says, "It's us or the left, only Likud, only Netanyahu." (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Workers remove an election campaign billboard of the Likud party showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramat Gan, Israel, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, a day after Israel held legislative election. Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party scored a resounding victory in Israel's election, final results showed Wednesday, a stunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy. The Hebrew says, "It's us or the left, only Likud, only Netanyahu." (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

The final results from Israel's hard-fought election show a resounding victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and place him in the best position to form the next government.

With nearly all the votes counted, Likud earned 29 out of parliament's 120 seats and should be able to build a coalition government with right-wing and religious allies with relative ease.

Exit polls after the voting stations closed late Tuesday showed Netanyahu's Likud virtually tied with Isaac Herzog's center-left Zionist Union, but once the actual results came pouring in early Wednesday, the latter had dropped to just 24 seats.

Almost all the votes were counted by Wednesday evening. The final results are expected on Thursday. The latest breakdown is as follows:

LIKUD - 29

ZIONIST UNION - 24

(ARAB) JOINT LIST - 14

YESH ATID - 11

KULANU - 10

JEWISH HOME - 8

SHAS - 7

UNITED TORAH JUDAISM - 7

YISRAEL BEITEINU - 6

MERETZ - 4