Yair Lapid, the centrist politician and former media movie star, has emerged as Israel’s most potent opposition chief however he seems, not less than for now, to have fallen in need of his objective of forming a liberal coalition that would oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from energy.

Exit polls projected that his occasion had received 16 to 18 seats within the 120-seat Parliament and that the broader bloc of anti-Netanyahu events had received 59 seats. However it’s made up of ideologically various events with clashing agendas that may discover it tough to work collectively. Based mostly on the exit polls, Mr. Netanyahu seems to have a neater path to energy.

In his want to unseat Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Lapid did what many politicians think about unthinkable.

Mr. Lapid pledged that he wouldn’t insist on taking over the premiership if doing so would show an impediment to ousting his opponent.

The proposal displayed a stage of humility hardly ever seen in Israeli politics — or most any political theater. Nevertheless it was not merely an act of noblesse oblige. Mr. Lapid was nicely conscious of the difficulties he was prone to face in getting among the different events against Mr. Netanyahu to again him as chief of an alternate coalition.

Two of Mr. Lapid’s potential coalition companions, Gideon Saar, a conservative former minister who just lately give up Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud, and Naftali Bennett, chief of the right-wing Yamina occasion, noticed themselves as candidates for prime minister, regardless of the comparatively modest measurement of their events. Mr. Bennett pledged earlier than the election that he wouldn’t sit in a authorities led by Mr. Lapid, whom he views as too left-wing. Mr. Saar stated he can be ready to take turns with Mr. Lapid in main the federal government.

Mr. Netanyahu targeted his personal marketing campaign as a head-to-head contest in opposition to Mr. Lapid, casting the race as one between the best and the left and dismissing him as a light-weight.

Mr. Lapid ran a quiet marketing campaign that targeted on requires preserving liberal democracy and thwarting Mr. Netanyahu’s said objective of forming a authorities made up of right-wing and spiritual events, counting on ultra-Orthodox rabbis and the far proper.

Chatting with occasion activists earlier than the election, Mr. Lapid described the governing coalition that Mr. Netanyahu wished to kind, and that he wished to forestall, as “an extremist, homophobic, chauvinistic, racist and anti-democratic authorities.” He added, “It’s a authorities the place no one represents working folks, the individuals who pay taxes and consider within the rule of regulation.”

Mr. Lapid has additionally referred to as to guard the judiciary from Mr. Netanyahu, who’s standing trial on corruption prices and who, collectively together with his right-wing and spiritual allies, intends to curb the powers of the Supreme Court docket.

As finance minister within the Netanyahu-led authorities fashioned in 2013, Mr. Lapid instituted modifications meant to share the nationwide burden extra equally between mainstream Israelis and ultra-Orthodox males who select full-time Torah research over work and military service, and who rely upon charity and welfare payouts. Most of his insurance policies have been undone by successive governments.

Mr. Lapid’s occasion, Yesh Atid, ran within the final three elections in a three-party centrist alliance referred to as Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz, a former military chief of employees. Mr. Lapid parted with Blue and White after Mr. Gantz reneged on a main election promise and joined forces with Mr. Netanyahu to kind an uneasy unity authorities after final 12 months’s election.

After a extremely profitable profession as a journalist and widespread tv host, Mr. Lapid was the shock of the 2013 election when his occasion surpassed expectations and positioned second, turning him into the chief energy dealer within the formation of the coalition.

His father, Yosef Lapid, a Holocaust survivor and an abrasive, antireligious politician, additionally headed a centrist occasion and served as justice minister. His mom, Shulamit Lapid, is a well known novelist.

An beginner boxer identified for his informal stylish black clothes, Mr. Lapid rode to energy on the again of the social justice protests of 2011 by giving voice to Israel’s struggling center class.

On the Israeli-Palestinian battle, he has caught to the center floor, presenting secure positions inside the Israeli Jewish consensus.