UPDATED @ 1:30pm EASTERN: Just 90 minutes before the polls close in Israel….nearly 64% of Israelis have voted so far….record high turnout….but what were whispers of “concern” amongst Likud leaders in Israel over the past few hours about low turnout for the leading center-right party — Prime Minister Netanyahu’s party — has now dramatically intensified into outright fear.
“Likud rule is in danger,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook wall, reports the Times of Israel. “The Likud leader repeats his call to his supporters to drop everything and go vote for the Likud-Beytenu list. ‘It’s very important for guaranteeing the future of the state of Israel,’ he says.”
The Times also reports: “The Twittersphere is awash with purported leaks from the TV exit polls which, based on initial small samples, ostensibly show why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sounding worried. The leaks purport to show the Likud doing less well than even the more pessimistic final polls, falling below the 30-seat mark, and Jewish Home and Yesh Atid competing to be the second biggest party with 16 or so seats each. Labor is down at 14-15. The leaks still show a right-wing/Orthodox bloc managing to win more than 61 seats, but only just.”