Gantz’s Blue and White Party have 33 seats to Likud’s 31 in the latest standings from Tuesday’s do-over election, according to Israel’s Central Elections Committee.
Election officials say tallies won’t be absolutely final until they have investigated the ballots at 15 polling stations where there were suspected voting irregularities.
At 9am local time, the official tally said 42% of votes had been counted, with Likud on 28%, and Blue and White on 27%.
However, Israeli news outlets, citing sources within the country’s elections committee, reported that around 90% of votes had been counted and showed a dead heat with the two main parties at 32 seats in the Knesset each.
Now, according to a report broadcast by Channel 13 news, the Likud plans to double its budget for a repeat campaign, spending two million shekels (approximately $570,000) to install cameras in Arab polling stations. The campaign will once again be headed up by Kaizler Inbar, and will be accompanied by increased police presence to monitor Arab voters.
Israel’s Central Election Committee – which oversees the state’s election process – will reportedly meet later this week to discuss the Likud’s program. The Channel 13 news report told how the Likud party plans to ask Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer, head of the elections committee, to “detail in writing what their poll watchers can and cannot do with the surveillance cameras”.