Voter turnout remained high going into Tuesday evening, with 63.7% casting a ballot as of 8 p.m.
The high turnout is expected to work in favor of large parties and of center and left-wing parties including Yesh Atid, Hatenua, and Kadima.
While the turnout rates remained significantly higher than the 2009 rates, the difference between the two declined somewhat. At 6 p.m. the 2013 turnout was 5.2 percent higher than the 2009 rate, but by 8 p.m. it was down to 4 percent higher.
The decline left it unclear whether voter turnout would pass the 70 percent mark, as was predicted earlier in the day.
Leaders of parties on the political left showed cautious optimism at the high turnout, and urged the last-minute voters to vote for them.
“Only Hatenua has the experience to lead the country in the face of the challenges we stand before,” declared Hatenua head Tzipi Livni.
MK Shaul Mofaz, head of the Kadima party, urged voters, “Follow me to Kadima! We have five more hours. This is the time to get out and vote, and vote right, for a responsible, balanced centrist party that will maintain Israel’s defense.”
Israel Votes, You Watch. Live from Jerusalem, watch the Arutz Sheva election special sponsored by the Orthodox Union OU Israel Center today, Tuesday January 22nd from 9:00PM until 2:00AM Israel time / 2:00PM - 7:00PM Eastern Standard Time. Your phone calls will be taken. To watch click here: /Special/ElectionsBroadcast.aspx