Israel's Exit Polls Point to Shocking Results (UPDATED)

Update: With the race now too close to call, both Livni and Netanyahu have declared victory.


More here.

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In a surprise turn of events, exit polls show the centrist Kadima party as the leader of Israel's general election, reports Haaertz.

Exit polls by Israel's three main television stations on Tuesday night showed Kadima as the leader in the 2009 general elections, with Likud coming a narrow second.

Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10 polling of voters as they left the ballot box all showed victory for Kadima, headed by Tzipi Livni.

However, despite Kadima's lead in the polls, Livni might not be able to form a coalition government, Haaertz also reports.

If the exit polls are correct, the right-wing bloc, led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, will comprise 63-64 seats, while the center-left bloc, headed by Livni, will take 56-57 seats. This means that a win in the polls does not necessarily mean that the next government will have a center-left bent.

Israeli President Shimon Peres will ask the leader he deems most capable of forming a government to put together a coalition, reports the Jerusalem Post:

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