Exit polls show Netanyahu ahead in Israel election

JERUSALEM, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist Likud-Beitenu party came out on top in Israel's election on Tuesday, exit polls said, but centre-left parties made surprising gains, potentially complicating coalition building.

Netanyahu's party was forecast to win 31 seats in the 1200- member parliament, according to three different exit polls broadcast on Israeli television.

The new centrist Yesh Atid party was projected to come a surprise second, followed by the left-leaning Labour and far-right Jewish Home parties. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Jeffrey Heller)