Jan. 22, 2013, midnight
Israeli citizens voted on January 22 to elect 120 members in early elections to the Knesset. With all votes having been counted, 12 parties have gained seats in the new Knesset. The Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu Bloc, led by Benjamin NETANYAHU gained the most votes in the election with 884,625 votes (23.32 percent), gaining 31 seats in the new Knesset. President Shimon PERES has selected NETANYAHU to continue as Prime Minister, and to build a coalition government. Yesh Atid, led by Israeli TV presenter Yair LAPID came in second with 14.32 percent (543,222 votes and 19 seats), with the Labor Party led by Shelly YACHIMOVICH finishing third with 11.39 percent (432,083 votes and 15 seats). 32 parties, coalitions, blocs, and lists participated in the election. The Knesset elections had a high turnout, with 67.79 percent (3,834,136 voters) of eligible voters casting their ballots. The results of the election show a dramatic drop in support for the combined ticket of Likud and the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu bloc, who lost a quarter of its seats in Parliament. The new centrist party Yesh Atid, saw a dramatic upswing in support, far surpassing pre-election polling. Yesh Atid, despite political differences with Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu has indicated that it will not seek to construct a bloc in government to prevent NETANYAHU from forming a government.