Photo Credit: Aharon Krohn/Flash90
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky casts his vote in Bnei Brak, September 17, 2019.

Initial exit poll results:

The initial results, based on 60 exit polls for each channel are as follows (these will likely change somewhat by Wednesday or Thursday):

Joint Arab List131112
Liberman Israel Beiteinu8810
D. Camp655


Right Wing Bloc545756
Left Wing Bloc454442
Joint Arab List131112



Using the highest scores from each poll, without Liberman, the rightwing bloc has 58 mandates at most, at least 3 short of the needed 61.

Likewise, the leftwing bloc’s maximum numbers, without Liberman, give it 46 mandates, 15 short of a majority.

To get closer to a majority coalition, Netanyahu would have to lure in 3 MKs from across the aisle. They can come from Labor, they can also be moderate Arab MKs who would be compensated with a significant portfolio.

For Gantz, the task is more uncertain. He would have to convince Liberman to join him and the two leftwing parties to create a 56-strong coalition, which rely on the support of the Arab party.

But Liberman has been insisting that he wants to form a coalition with Likud sans Netanyahu, Blue&White and his own party, which would be a formidable coalition of 74 seats, give or take, and which could eradicate the religious opposition.

This would require a coup against the Likud chairman and a parting of the ways between Likud and its historic, rightwing partners. It just will not happen. Besides, Likud and Blue&White combined simply don’t need Liberman.

So here we are, with a virtual repeat of the April 9 vote. Lots of drama to come.

Additional Notes:

After Gantz jumped the gun immediately after the last election’s exit polls were released, neither party is making any announcements until the actual counted data has firmed up.

Netanyahu has already contacted his natural partners: UTJ, Shas and Yamina.

Liberman has not yet announced to which country he is taking his traditional post-election vacation, where he leaves his phone at home.

As of now, it appears that Otzma Yehudit cost the right 2 seats.