Exit Poll Shows Netanyahu Beating Saar with 71 Percent of Vote

Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu casts his vote for its primary elections. (Miriam Alster/Flash90/File)

On a cold, dark, blustery, rainy Thursday, the Likud party went to the polls to choose their leader, which according to all forecasts will again be Binyamin Netanyahu.

An unofficial exit poll by Direct Polls had Netanyahu winning over Gideon Saar with 71.52 percent of the vote, The Times of Israel reported.

As polls closed at 11 p.m., 48.6 percent of eligible voters reportedly braved the heavy downpours and strong winds to cast votes in the primary. Counting began immediately, but the tallies will not be known until sometime early Friday.

There were complaints of irregularities from both the Netanyahu and Saar campaigns, according to Shai Galili, the Likud comptroller. However, as of poll closing time, the complaints seemed to be few in number.