Jerusalem(CNN)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s grip on power was hanging in the balance Wednesday after local TV channels projected him trailing his centrist rival Benny Gantz by just one seat, following a re-run general election.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz have vowed they can form a government, even though projected results give neither man a majority in the new Parliament.
Israeli politics now appears all-but-deadlocked and destined for complex negotiations between the two main parties and the smaller parties over possible coalition arrangements.
Addressing his Blue and White party supporters in Tel Aviv a few hours after the polls closed, Gantz struck a tone of measured optimism, saying that an era of “polarization and antagonism” now lay in the past with “unity and reconciliation” being the way forward.
Gantz said contacts with other parties to build what he described as a “broad unity government” had already started.
“I intend to talk to everybody, starting tonight,” he said.
Netanyahu meanwhile, was hoarse as he addressed his Likud Party supporters, neither claiming victory nor conceding defeat.