An overwhelming victory for Bibi…but here are some even more interesting results, analysis and some winners and losers from last night:
1) Bayit Yehudi suffered a huge blow in terms of seats, dropping from a predicted 15 to 8.
What happened? 7 seats worth of people, roughly translated to 150,000 of their voters panicked and voted for Likud in order to make sure Bennet would be a part of the government. They achieved this but at an astronomical cost to their own party.
2) Likud. Bibi loves total control. He is the undisputed champion of last night in terms of his own desire for complete power. He crushed not only his opposition but also his allies into tiny parties giving him at least a 20 seat difference between him and the nearest No.2 in his coalition.
He will likely form a very stable, narrow government consisting of religious and right wing nationalists.
Its a sad day for the realization of a PM who ran his last minute campaign on incitement against Arab citizens who vote, against his own allies, on fear mongering and paranoia, vote baiting and obsession for complete power.
One thing is for sure, Bibi will go down in history for truly understanding how to win an election. Policy makers, poll takers, strategists and analysts underestimated his ability to judge the facts on the ground and turn them into his favor. They will forever learn from this and use his campaign as an example of how to keep control even when the polls are against you and gaining 8 seats within a few days.
From day one, he convinced the public that it was between him and Herzog. He convinced the right, specifically Bayit Yehudi, that he was the only way they would get into the coalition and therefore they should vote for him.
He convinced the public that the Arabs were voting on masse when they weren’t.
He convinced the public that it’s better to switch a central Yesh Atid, with representatives from every minority, for two Ultra Orthodox parties who won’t include women in their list or participate in National Service.
An unethical, yet wholly impressive campaign.
3) Yachad lost big time. The only thing Eli Yishai has achieved is splitting Shas voters against each other and making Shas weaker. He was grossly unoriginal during the big debate, stealing both Bibis’ bomb diagram and Martin Luther Kings’ ”I have a dream” speech. A sad day for them as it lessens their community’s voice, however, an unsurprising one. He went down and kept extremist Marzel/ Otzma Yehudit down with him – which personally, I believe is fantastic news.
4) Yesh Atid. A Huge loss for Lapid in terms of 200,000 less voters, 8 less seats and 1.8 years of legislation about to be undone by the Chareidi parties as soon as they enter the coalition. He proved, despite endless attacks, that he still has a very large following.
5) Kulanu. Its not over for Kachlon as he still hasn’t shown his cards. He has called for unity among voters and can hugely affect who is in the next government.
Could he demand a unity government? Probably not, but he was never out to crown or depose so he remains the only candidate loved by all.
6) HaMachane Hatzioni. This wasn’t a total loss for Herzog. It was always clear that there wasn’t much he could do except for increase his own parties votes which he did by over 300,000 votes. He did not do enough to present an actual plan explaining why he will be better than Bibi. As for the left bloc, there weren’t many options and Meretz sucked big time.
-> Yisrael Beiteinu. Not exactly a big loss as they were predicted to score low, however, Leiberman will have to seriously rethink how he has failed to improve his party and understand how the societal map has changed. I still enjoy watching his creepy, robotic and radical videos. Forever will be engraved in my mind, the ”Lo Lishon” (Do not sleep) election day video.
-> A general win for Chareidi parties as a whole due to their impending likelihood of now all joining the government together and undoing Lapids previous work against them.
-> Aleh Yarok dropped 5,000 votes despite offering voters free weed if they pass the threshold. Either their followers don’t want the free buds or they’re going to smoke it anyway. Maybe their voters confused them with the ‘Joint List’
-> The Green Party also plummeted 5,000 votes.
-> A disappointing result for Uvizchutan, the female chareidi party, with under 2,000 votes. A sad day for female participation in religious issues. Both Shas and UTJ who, at the moment, are likely to be brought in by Bibi, have zero women on their list.
-> Meretz lost BIG time in terms of missed opportunity. They failed to garner the potential snowball of the V15 movement by refusing to sit with almost everyone and refusing to get with the times. It hurt themselves and it hurt Herzog.
A small win for Tamar Zandberg who gets to keep her seat with Zehava Galon stepping down.
-> Overall, female Knesset members will now drop to around 25 or stay the same at 27 and not rise to 30 as predicted. Again, a sad day for women.