Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched a clear victory early Wednesday morning in Israel’s general elections.The left-wing is 10 seats behind, and since there's even leftists who don't want to work with the Arabic parties (though they may not be willing to join a coalition regardless), that's one more reason why Gantz won't be able to form a government. Besides, most importantly, he's never served in public office before, and so, he's untested and thus unreliable.
With some 97 percent of votes in Tuesday’s contest counted, his Likud party was tied with Blue and White, but his right-wing/ultra-Orthodox bloc held a decisive lead and Netanyahu was thus safely en route to forming a majority governing coalition.
With more than four million votes counted as of 9 a.m., Likud had snagged 26.27% of the vote, or 35 seats in the 120-seat legislature — the party’s best result since the 2003 election (when it won 38 seats under Ariel Sharon), and its best under Netanyahu.
Likud’s main rival in the election, the Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, won 25.94% of the vote, which would also give it 35 seats, but had insufficient support from other parties to prevent Netanyahu staying in power for what will be a fifth term.
Maybe most interesting about this election is the Labor party's plummeting to a single digit, their lowest number to date:
The historically dominant Labor Party crashed to sixth place with 4.46% (six seats), the party’s worst showing in its 71-year history.Yep, and a lot of leftists abandoned them for the sake of Gantz's pretentious cobbling together of a political faction with Yair Lapid, himself a crummy politician, who's since suggested he's not really opposed to the Haredi parties, as he too actually hoped to court them.
On the right side of the spectrum, Naftali Bennett's "New Right" failed so far to win any Knesset seats:
In a shock development, the New Right party, led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, appeared to have failed to cross the electoral threshold of 3.25%, garnering just 3.14% of the vote, thought it held out hopes that soldiers’ votes could lift it above the threshold; those final votes should be tallied by early Thursday morning.I get the feeling he alienated some voters with his dreadful campaigning, and splitting from Union of Right-wing Parties obviously didn't help. He honestly struck me at times as a very fishy character, and so, if his career in politics is over, who knows? He may have asked for it. He may have had good intentions, but he sure didn't know how to convey them well, and his approach may have even alienated some Haredi voters who decided to just vote for the 2 Haredi-led parties as well as Likud, as they'd be the safe choices.
So anyway, this is relieving news, and now, we'll see if Netanyahu keeps his promise of seeing to it Judea/Samaria are given valid status they deserve.
Update: here's a columnist at Israel HaYom summing up that Labor's fiasco is chairman Avi Gabbay's fault.