Benjamin Netanyahu has succeeded in reversing the trend that began last April with the rise of Benny Gantz’s Blue&White and led the rightwing bloc to 60 mandates in the 23rd Knesset – 1 seat short of a majority, but already enough to give the PM an unobstructed path to victory.
The Likud is now the largest party, with a significant gap over Blue&White. Labor-Gesher-Meretz party crashed down to six or seven seats, from the 11 seats the three parties had in the previous Knesset. Liberman’s Israel Beiteinu dropped to 6 or 7 seats.
Netanyahu has called for a meeting of the rightwing bloc parties in his office Tuesday morning. Blue & White representatives pointed out that their bloc, too, has 60 mandates, but that, of course, includes Liberman and the Arabs, who will not sit together, ever.
The real results should be available Tuesday morning. Likud representatives hinted at a 61st seat that might be coming their way after all the votes are counted, especially from the IDF. But even if the rightwing bloc would only receive 60, or even 59, they should be able to lure two MKs in exchange for a ministerial portfolio or a committee chairmanship.