With over 99% of the vote counted on Wednesday, Kadima still clings to a slender 1 Knesset seat lead over the Likud as the real results seem to closely relate to the exit poll data .
The nearly completed actual results showed that the Arab parties gained 1 seat to total 11 while the Left dropped 16 seats vs their position in the current Knesset while the Right picked up 19 seats and the Religious parties dropped by 4 seats vs the current Knesset. Israel National News reports that the soldiers vote could affect which party garners the most Knesset seats:
The votes of the armed forces usually tilt to the nationalist and religious parties, and are likely to create at least a tie and may even put Likud in the lead. The votes of diplomats overseas and soldiers changed the results in the last election by taking one Knesset seat away from Kadima. The number of Arab MKs also will likely be reduced after the soldiers’ ballots are counted.
The Left, particularly Labor, were the big losers in the vote while Likud more than doubled their seats from the current Knessset, and could have had many more were it not for Bibi’s monumental, unforgiveable blunders of dumping Moshe Feiglin, Michael Ratzon and other faith-based individuals from their primary-won slots to unrealistic positions in the high 30s after the Likud primary. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu was a big election winner.
It seems obvious that, by virtue of the 10 seat margin which the natural right and religious parties hold over the leftist parties (including the Arabs), that Netanyahu and Likud are the most appropriate of 3 poor choices to head the next government.
However, the question MUST be asked, particularly as it relates to a Likud-led government who was out-polled by it’s Kadima opponent; Will a prime minister Netanyahu have the wisdom to reject a lopsided deal with Hamas, i.e. 1,000 terrorists for Shalit? Will he have the courage to fight such a “deal” even before he finishes creating a new government? The answer to this question seems a likely indicator as to Netanyahu’s positions as to territorial and security issues.
Falling through the leftist media cracks amidst election news and returns, it was reported on Tuesday evening that a Kassam rocket fell in Sdot Negev and that on Wednesday, 3 mortar shells from Gaza fell in Eshkol region in yet more violations of the Livni/Olmert ceasefire which ended Operation Cast Lead short of Israel’s goals. Bringing the Gaza War to an appropriate Israeli goal-oriented solution must also be on the short-list of Netanyahu’s top priorities. MB