Earlier on Tuesday, analysts said they expected Netanyahu, seen by many as the main challenger to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, to take more than 50 per cent of votes in the election.
 
Netanyahu has seen his ratings soar in opinion polls since the rise of Hamas and Israel's war with Hezbollah fighters last year.
 
Israeli general elections are due in 2010 but, with Olmert's near record low approval ratings, some commentators anticipate a face-off between him and Netanyahu as early as next year.