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    Who “won” the Israeli election? (we don’t know yet)

    Who “won” the Israeli election? (we don’t know yet)

    Exit polls predict Netanyahu will not be able to form a coalition government, but exit polls have been unreliable in the past.

    Israel held an election after the last election left the nominal winner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, unable to form a majority coalition.

    This time around, the result may be the same. Based on exit polls, which have been wrong in the past, there is no clear ‘winner’ — keep in mind it’s not like here where one party gets a majority. In Israel, whoever is able to form a coalition of 61 Knesset seats is the winner, and that can take days or weeks.

    The Jerusalem Post reported on the possible stalemate:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to carry on after a decade in office with a historic victory in Tuesday’s election, and to be tasked with forming a government for the sixth time, remained up in the air late on Tuesday, after exit polls predicted a stalemate.

    The final unofficial results were only expected on Wednesday afternoon, but according to exit polls on all three channels, neither Netanyahu nor Gantz had a clear path to a coalition.

    Turnout in the race was 69.4% – higher than expected – even though Israelis went to the polls for the second time in five months. Arab turnout was up from 49% in the April 9 election.

    According to Channel 13, Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has a total of 54 seats, and the center-left bloc of Blue and White 58, including the Joint List. The other two polls gave the Center-Right bloc an advantage: 57-55 in Channel 12’s poll, and 56-54 in Channel 11’s.

    A Times of Israel analysis notes that Netanyahu has a history of over-performing in the actual vote, so it’s still possible he will emerge with a winning coalition.

    UPDATE 9-18-2019

    We still don’t know:

    With 89.8 percent of votes having been counted by the Central Elections Committee, Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party on Wednesday was projected to secure 32 seats in the Knesset, edging ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, which stood at 31 seats.

    In the official count, the Gantz-led center-left-Arab bloc has a slight advantage over the Netanyahu-led right-religious bloc with 56 seats versus 55. In the middle are the nine seats of Yisrael Beytenu, whose leader, MK Avigdor Liberman, has vowed to force Likud and Blue and White into a unity government.

    The Joint List, an alliance of mostly Arab parties, stands at third with 13 seats, followed by the ultra-Orthodox Shas and Yisrael Beytenu, both with nine seats.

    Bringing up the rear are the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (8), the nationalist alliance Yamina (7), center-left Labor-Gesher (6) and the leftist Democratic Camp (5).


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    fishstick | September 18, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t follow the nuances of foreign political bodies

    but how would a “unity” government look here?

    like who would be the Isreal PM in this scenario?

    looks like it would be a near 50/50 split regardless

    which is worse than the previous tally

      Milhouse in reply to fishstick. | September 18, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      They would have to work it out between them. Generally there would be a rotation agreement, i.e. one of them becomes PM and agrees to resign in 2 years so the other one can take over. This agreement might or might not be carried out when the time comes.

      Milhouse in reply to fishstick. | September 18, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      PS: The “Blue and White” (Israeli for “Motherhood and Apple Pie”) coalition is already based on a rotation agreement between Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Had B&W been able to form a government without Likud, the agreement was that Gantz would be PM for 2 years and then Lapid would take his turn. How this would play out in a coalition with the Likud is anyone’s guess.

        fishstick in reply to Milhouse. | September 18, 2019 at 8:51 pm

        ok so by current projections:

        Blue and White has 32
        Likud has 31

        these are the two big factions

        but the remainders are

        Joint List with 13
        Yisrael Beytenu with 9
        Shas with 9
        United Torah with 8
        Yamina with 7
        Labor-Gesher with 6
        Democratic Camp with 5

        where do these seats fall?

    Netanyahu’s camp is Likud (31), Yamina (7), and the haredim (17), for a total of 55.

    Gantz’s camp is B&W (32), Labor (6), and Meretz (5), for 43. But the Arabs have 13, and Gantz made some worrying suggestions that he’d be open to a deal with them; they probably wouldn’t formally join the coalition but they’d support it from the outside in return for some powerful committee chairmanships. Or, who knows, he might even be so treasonous as to include them in the coalition and give them cabinet seats. I’m not sure I’d put it past him. And if he does so it would put him at 56.

    Which leaves Lieberman with his 9 seats as kingmaker, and he’ll make the most of it. He wants a government without haredim, and so does Lapid. The haredim, for their part, won’t sit with Lapid.

    Meanwhile Gantz insists that B&W is willing to join with Likud but not with Netanyahu. He says a condition of any deal would be for the Likud to dump Netanyahu and pick a new leader. So far everyone in the Likud is afraid to do anything but insist that they can have no other leader, but there are several potential leaders who are secretly hoping he goes but can’t say so.

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