Likud concerned over lower than expected turnout of their voters so far. How serious is it?

Rising star? Yair Lapid, founder of new Israeli party, Yesh Atid.

Rising star? Yair Lapid, founder of new party, Yesh Atid.

UPDATED AT 1:00pm EASTERN: A record 58% of eligible Israeli voters have already voted. Number could hit 70% by the time polls close at 10pm. Apparently there’s a record turnout of first-time voters, as well. What’s more, I’m hearing that Likud is seeing lower-than-expected turnout amongst its voters, at least so far. Likud leaders and their political operatives are growing concerned about the implications, if these three trends continue through the evening.

How serious is it? Could Netanyahu be in danger of not continuing as Prime Minister? Which parties are benefitting and which ones are in trouble at the moment? The buzz in the Israeli media is the new center-left party of Yair Lapid — a former TV host now running for the first time for Knesset and a rising star in the Israeli political firmament — is doing better than expected. Apparently, so is Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party. Are these whispers accurate? Not yet clear. Developing….

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