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An elephant in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo casts a vote on Election Day in Israel.

Hatnua’s poor showing also suggested how little of the election was about negotiations with the Palestinians. Livni made much of the issue during the campaign, but it clearly failed to resonate with voters. Hatnua’s six seats equaled the showing of Meretz, the solidly left-wing party. By contrast, Labor, traditionally a promoter of peace talks, barely raised the issue in the campaign. Instead it focused on socioeconomic issues and made significant Knesset gains.

With Election Day over, the coalition building begins: To win another term as prime minister, Netanyahu now must cobble together an alliance of at least 61 Knesset members to form Israel’s next government. Who he chooses – and who agrees to join him – will determine a great deal about the course charted in the years to come by the Israeli government.
(JTA)

ELECTION RESULTS (according to exit polling):
Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu: 31
Yesh Atid: 18
Labor: 17
Shas: 13
Jewish Home: 12
Meretz: 6
United Torah Judaism: 6
Hatnua: 6
Hadash: 5
Raam: 4
Balad: 0-2
Otzma LeYisrael: 0-2
Kadima: 0

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1 COMMENT

  1. Bibi is not in any weaker of a position than he was in 2009. People seem to be forgetting that even though the right-wing won 65 seats in 2009, the NU (which had 4 seats) patently refused to sit in any government with him so it was more accurate to say that he had 61 useable right wing votes in 2009. He had to add a non-right party. Otzma and Am Shallem cost the right 2-3 seats but Otzma wouldn't have joined anyway. The dream of a 70 seat right/religious bloc is just that; it would require relatively low turnout on the left/Arabs and no tiny parties not meeting the threshold but wasting votes. Putting Lapid into the coalition will probably be less of a nightmare than being extorted by Ehud's Barak breakaway Labor faction or Maofaz's Kadima. There are still 250,000 votes from the IDF, prisons or hospitals which might slightly change the seat composition; then again I have no idea if IDF soldiers vote left, right or mixed.

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