Exit polls following Israel’s second general election in five months suggest the result is too close to call.
The centrist Blue and White alliance of former military chief Benny Gantz is projected to win between 32 and 34 seats, and PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party 30 to 33 seats.
Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman may end up being kingmaker.
Mr Netanyahu called the snap vote after failing to form a governing coalition in the wake of an election in April.
Negotiations on the formation of a new coalition are expected to start as soon as the preliminary results come on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to supporters early on Wednesday, Mr Netanyahu said: “We’ve all been through a difficult election campaign.
“We are still waiting for the actual results but one thing is clear. The state of Israel is at a historical point, we faced great opportunities and great challenges.”
Mr Gantz sounded more optimistic when he spoke to supporters a little earlier.
“Of course we’ll wait for the real results, but it seems we have accomplished our mission,” he said.
“The unity and reconciliation is ahead of us.”
What are the exit polls saying? A revised exit poll released by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan early on Wednesday projected that Blue and White would win 32 seats and Likud 31 in the 120-seat Knesset.
In third place was the Israeli Arab Joint List with 13 seats; followed by Mr Lieberman’s secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party with nine; the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties with nine and eight respectively; the right-wing Yamina party with seven, and the left-wing Labour-Gesher and Democratic Union alliances with six and five respectively.
Channel 12 News put Blue and White and Likud level on 32 seats, while an updated poll Channel 13 News predicted that Blue and White would win 32 seats and Likud 30.
There was a muted response at Likud’s election night headquarters in Tel Aviv as the exit polls were released.
Hundreds of chairs for party supporters remained empty, as activists were kept outside the hall and leaders digested the numbers.
Likud’s foreign affairs director noted that Israeli exit polls had got things wrong in the past. Last time, they underestimated the number of votes for Likud and also for some of the religious parties allied to Mr Netanyahu.
“There is no point starting to work out a coalition based on these numbers as they will change,” Eli Hazan said.
But Blue and White was “cautiously optimistic” that Israel would get new leadership, spokeswoman Melody Sucharewicz told the Times of Israel.