Polling showed that the Israeli Prime Minister would keep his job…..
But the actual vote was much closer than anyone thought, leaving Bibi on somewhat shaky internal political ground…..
If Israel’s campaign was something less than compelling, election night made up for it. When polling places closed at 10 p.m. local time, the country’s three major television stations were free to reveal the results of exit polls gathered from voters who had turned out in surprisingly large numbers. None had the weight of actual results, which would take all night to tally, but all the surveys found the same thing: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was staggered. With a projected 31 seats in the next Knesset, or parliament, his faction would nominally remain the largest. But that faction entered the campaign with a lot more seats, 42, than it came out with, so the “victory” — if the exit polls are truly representative — was an extraordinarily feeble one. Indeed, by Wednesday it was clear that Netanyahu had kept his job—but barely.
In terms of perception, the clear winner was Yair Lapid, a former anchorman and newspaper columnist who was running his first campaign. Late-deciding voters broke heavily for his centrist party, called Yesh Atid (There Is a Future). Two polls gave it 19 seats and a third poll 18; on Wednesday, unofficial returns had him at 19. That was good enough for second place, ahead of the Labor Party, which the preliminary count gave 15 seats, a bit lower than expected, also running on economic issue. Overall, unofficial returns showed the Knesset perfectly divided between right and center-left: Each bloc claimed 60 seats.
I did a post a day or two ago headlining that Israel would turn to the right….
That will probabaly NOT happen too strongly since Yair Lipid is a centerist and as a former media star has little or no experinece running a political party. He will now have to make a deal with Netanyahu to form a coliation government. Lipid ran a economic based campaign.
Photo of Lipid and Netanyahu….jiw.blogspot.comShare on Facebook