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Israeli Exit Polls: Netanyahu projected winner of Israel election (Update – Bibi short one seat?)

Israeli Exit Polls: Netanyahu projected winner of Israel election (Update – Bibi short one seat?)

It’s not over until the actual results are in, but everyone in Israel is treating this as a Netanyahu win.


After two prior elections in the past year which ended in deadlock, exit poll projections are that the Likud Party, led by Benjamin Netanhayu, will have the most seats in the Knesset and will be able to put together a majority coalition.

In Israeli elections, it is not winner take all. The “winner” is the party that is able to put together a coalition of 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Coalition building is the key. In the two prior elections in the past year, Likud had the most seats, but could not put together a majority coalition.

In the election today, Likud is projected to have a big win. While these are based on election exit polls and could change, no one in Israel seems to doubt the result.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in winning 60 seats for his bloc of right-wing and religious parties in Monday’s election, one less than he needed for a majority in the Knesset, according to exit polls on the three television networks.

The polls indicated that Netanyahu’s Likud won 36-37 seats. Its allies in Shas, UTJ and Yamina won 9, 7-8 and 6-7 respectively. The polls showed Blue and White with 33 seats, its ally Labor-Gesher-Meretz 6-7, the Joint List 14-15 and Yisrael Beytenu 6-8.

While Netanyahu may end up at 60 seats, he is likely to pick up more for his coalition after the results are announced … but theres no guarantees. The Times of Israel reports:

Justice Minister Amir Ohana, speaking to the Kan public broadcaster, said Likud “has a few options” to win over defecting lawmakers from across the aisle to round out its majority, and indicated he expects some Blue and White lawmakers to jump ship.

“I won’t name names,” he said, but expressed confidence there won’t be a fourth round of elections. “The public has spoken in a very clear way,” Ohana added.

“The people had its say,” Likud’s Nir Barkat echoed to Channel 12. “Now all the parties need to unite and help us form a coalition to deal with the nation’s challenges. We need a budget, we have a deficit. We can’t go to a fourth election. Stop dealing with yesterday, we have to deal with the country’s problems.”

Netanyahu, he said, “will try to form a coalition as broad as possible.”

Blue and White’s no. 5, MK Avi Nissenkorn, admitted the centrist faction was “disappointed,” but told Channel 13 that “Netanyahu still doesn’t have a coalition. We’ll wait for final results.”

Blue and White MK Meir Cohen agreed the results were “disappointing,” but urged pundits to “wait for final results. And I don’t believe there will be defectors. We say clearly, we won’t sit with Netanyahu.”

Netanyahu tweeted “Thank You” and that it was a “huge victory for Israel”:

His supporters went wild.

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UPDATE 3-3-2020 noon:

Is Bibi short one seat? Will there be another failure to build a coalition even though he’s *this* close? It will await final vote tallies, including from soldiers, but here are the latest numbers from the Jerusalem Post:

According to preliminary results from some 90% of the regular polling stations, the parties would receive the following number of seats, pending vote sharing agreements and application of the Bader-Ofer surplus vote allocation system:

Likud: 36 (1,206,692 votes, 29.35%)
Blue and White: 32 (1,082,970 votes, 26.34%)
The Joint List: 15 (530,978 votes, 12.91%)
Shas: 10 (320,246 votes, 7.79%)
UTJ: 7 (254,945 votes, 6.20%)
Yisrael Beytenu: 7 (241,322 votes, 5.87%)
Labor-Gesher-Meretz: 7 (234,933 votes, 5.71%)
Yamina: 6 (207,737 votes, 5.05%)

The Right-religious bloc has 59 seats (Likud, Shas, UTJ and Yamina)

The Center-Left bloc has 39 seats (Blue and White and Labor-Gesher-Meretz)
The Joint List has 15 seats
Yisrael Beytenu has 7 seats


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Like the Brexit win, Bibi’s victory is a good omen for a Trump win in November. Feet in the face of leftism and globalism.

Yet we still have Trudeau in Canada. No complacency!

    Tom Servo in reply to Sunlight78. | March 2, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Canada has much the same problem as California – the population in a handful of large left wing cities dominates the elections, and there’s not enough people outside of them to counter their votes. So those cities run the entire thing, no matter what the rest of the country thinks.

And the Military vote is out and once it is counted BiBi will get his 61st seat and have a majority without having to make nice with the other parties…

Just saying

    Milhouse in reply to gonzotx. | March 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    He’s nowhere near a majority on his own. He still has to make nice with the other parties on the right. But they’re willing to be made nice to. They’ll negotiate and try to get the best deal out of him they can, but at the end of the day they will join him. And then he can wait for the Motherhood-and-Apple-Pie party to collapse and bring some of the defectors in as well.

      gonzotx in reply to Milhouse. | March 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Wrong! BiBi is one short till the military vote comes in 60-he needs 61

        Tom Servo in reply to gonzotx. | March 3, 2020 at 12:02 am

        What Milhouse means is that Likud will only get 37 seats, but that is still more than any other party. Netanyahy has agreements with enough smaller parties that it looks like he can get 60 votes for his government at the moment, and he may have 61 tomorrow. That would guarantee a majority in the 120 seat Knesset.

        It’s interesting to note that NO party has ever won an absolute majority in the Israeli parliament by itself.

          Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | March 3, 2020 at 1:31 am

          He doesn’t have agreements yet. gonzotx is just wrong. The only way he gets a majority is making nice with other parties. The point is that the parties that are willing to entertain his offers, and are also willing to sit with each other, will have enough votes to give him a majority. But each of them will still try to drive the hardest bargain they can, and the negotiations will take some time.

          After the first election he managed to get 60 MKs on board, but couldn’t get that 61st. The opposition couldn’t get 61 either, so there was a new election. And the second election gave the balance of power to Yvette Lieberman, a former close ally of his, who insisted that he wouldn’t join either side unless they joined together; since both major blocs refused to work together there was no choice but to have a third election. This time, thankfully, he’ll be able to get 61 without Lieberman.

          Also bear in mind that most of the “parties” are actually coalitions of smaller parties that agreed to run together. For instance the major opposition bloc, ludicrously named “Blue and White” (which is Israeli for “Motherhood and Apple Pie”) consists of four distinct parties whose only unifying theme is that they hate Netanyahu. The Joint Arab List also consists of 3 or 4 parties, UTJ consists of two parties (each of which has several factions), Yamina is a hodgepodge of three parties, and Labor/Gesher/Meretz is three parties. The Likud by now functions as one party, though the very name means “bloc” because it was a coalition of the Freedom Party and the Liberal Party and a handful of minor allies. Other than that the only large party left that is actually one party is Shas.

          Tom Servo in reply to Tom Servo. | March 3, 2020 at 9:55 am

          For all of the things that Israel does right, they have GOT to have the absolute worst government structure of any civilized country in the world. It’s like they hired Monty Python to write all of their founding documents.

The loser of today’s election is Israel’s corrupt, tyrannical legal fraternity.

I would like to think so, but these results don’t show it. On these results there will not be a majority in the Knesset for legislation taking on the judicial/DOJ establishment and putting it in its proper place — preferably prison, but at least away from the reins of government.

There are only a few truly willing to carry the fight to the judiciary and the DOJ, such as Amir Ohana, Ayelet Shaked, and Moshe Feiglin, but Shaked and Feiglin both crashed at the polls, and Ohana doesn’t have enough backing from the rest of his party. Any attempt to do what needs to be done will be met with claims that it undermines the so-called “rule of law” (which in Israel seems to mean something very different from what it means in the rest of the world — in Israel it seems to mean the arbitrary rule of lawyers and judges). So regardless of what the people want, or whom they elect, Israel will continue to be ruled by the same self-appointed cabal that has done so for at least 30 years.

Note to Americans: if you think we’ve got problems with so-called “Hawaii Judges”, compared to the Israeli High Court and DOJ they are a model of modesty and propriety.

It’s also a pity that Caroline Glick is back to commenting on the results rather than participating in them. By all rights she should have been elected to the Knesset in the first election last year, but too many voters stayed home.

I loved Israel even before I visited several years ago, so if nobody minds I’m going to go pour myself a good, stiff double drink. And another for the wife, too.

Are enough Israel voters close to being as suicidal as enough American voters?

Take back our schools, or we can’t complain if we allow ourselves to be voted into slavery.


    Plus, about 12% of voters are Arabs who are openly the state’s enemies. Their representatives are projected to get 13-14 seats out of 120.

      Tim.Martin in reply to Milhouse. | March 2, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      I find that very confusing since they have clearly shown that they want nothing to do with living under the Palestinian Authority.

        Tom Servo in reply to Tim.Martin. | March 3, 2020 at 12:09 am

        Imagine a very angry teenager who screams at his parents every day while he continues to live in their house. Also, he doesn’t have a job, and his biggest complaint is that they don’t do enough for him.