Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ehud Olmert's Kadima party appears to be the winner

In what has been described as the lowest voter turnout in Israel's history, 63% of the voters went to the polls today. With 70% of the votes counted Haaretz is reporting:

Kadima's strength slipped to 28 seats. Labor held at 20 seats, and Shas rose to 13, raising the possibility that it could become the third largest part in the Knesset. It appears there will be a center-left coalition that has the majority with 62 seats if the numbers stay as they are now.

The Likud, which had hoped to block a center-left coalition, won 11 to 12 seats in the poll, far below the figures the party had hoped and a far cry from the 38 seats it won under Ariel Sharon in 2003.

Division played a role in this election especially by one party:

Avigdor Lieberman has been aiming at the lowest instincts of some Jewish citizens by advocating for an Arab-free Israel - by placing Arab towns and villages outside the national borders and stripping the residents of their citizenship. His program, although clearly somewhere in fantasy land, seems to have been an effective political ploy: His party's popularity has been increasing weekly in the polls. As if that were not crazy enough, other political nuts have tried to draw attention to their hairbrained schemes and fringe parties by provocatively entering Arab neighborhoods and villages, and urging the residents to leave Israel. Hatred of Arabs seems to have become a hot political commodity in this election. All this can only lead to disaster if it is not stopped in time.

Yisrael Beiteinu, the party Liberman belongs to at this point is reported as winning 11 seats.

For a breakdown and coding of which parties in Israel are considered the "right" or "left" this image demonstrates how the three television stations each predicted the final outcome, thru straw and exit polling. The bottom chart using Channel One numbers appears to be the closest to what the final make up will be.


Lisa Renee said...

Jerusalem Post is reporting with 89% of the vote counted:

Kadima: 29 Knesset seats

Labor: 20

Shas: 12

Likud: 12

Israel Beitenu: 11

NRP / NU: 8

Pensioners: 8

United Torah Judaism: 6

Meretz: 5

Balad: 3

Hadash: 3

United Arab List: 3


Stephanie said...

This just goes to show that the Palestinians aren't the only ones getting more militant and abrasive.

Lisa Renee said...

They haven't reported much about the Israel Arab vote except earlier to say many were not voting in protest. Personally I'm not sure how not participating in the process even if you think it is an unfair one is supposed to help you but that appeared to be the feeling of the majority of Israeli Arabs as of yesterday.

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I've never understood that either. Though, it's seems a significant portion of American voters do that without even realizing it.