Election Returns: 100% Of Vote Counted: Tie


UPDATE 6:01 am Israeli time Wednesday:

The election has apparently ended in a tie with each block winning 60 seats in the Knesset. Whether these final results are the real “final” results is unclear, particularly as relates to IDF votes and disputed ballots. More later this afternoon.

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UPDATE 5:18 am Israel time Wednesday:

With 95% of the vote counted, the right block has 60 seats, and the center-left block has 60 seats.

The only change from the previous update is that Shas has lost one seat, and the Arab parties have gained one.

It appears that the election will not be settled anytime soon. In addition to the 5% uncounted, the votes of IDF soldiers have yet to be counted, and there are a large number of “disqualified” votes that must be checked.

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UPDATE 4:09 am Israel time Wednesday:

90% of the vote has now been counted, and it is an old fashioned nail-biter. We are now back to a 61-59 split:

Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu): 31

Torch for the Future (Lapid): 19

Labor (Yachimovich): 15

Shas (Sephardic Orthodox): 12

Jewish Home (Bennett): 11

United Torah Judaism: 7

Tzipi Livni: 6

Meretz: 6

Arab parties: 11

Kadima: 2

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UPDATE 2:35 am Israel time Wednesday:

The numbers keep changing. 66% of the vote has now been counted. The new numbers:

Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu): 33

Torch for the Future (Lapid): 19

Labor (Yachimovich): 16

Shas (Sephardic Orthodox): 12

Jewish Home (Bennett): 11

United Torah Judaism: 8

Tzipi Livni: 7

Meretz: 6

Arab parties: 9

Kadima: 2

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UPDATE 1:15 am Israel time Wednesday:

Finally, we have some real numbers and not merely projections–and there are some changes. Netanyahu, United Torah Judaism, Shas, and the Arab parties gain seats— Lapid, Yachimovich, Bennett, and Meretz lose seats:

Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu): 33

Torch for the Future (Lapid): 18

Labor (Yachimovich): 16

Shas (Sephardic Orthodox): 12

Jewish Home (Bennett): 11

Tzipi Livni: 7

United Torah Judaism: 7

Meretz: 6

Arab parties: 10

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UPDATE 10:02 pm Israel time:

Here are current projections for seats in the Knesset:

Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu): 31

Torch for the Future (Lapid): 19

Labor (Yachimovich): 17

Jewish Home (Bennett): 12

Shas (Sephardic Orthodox): 11

Tzipi Livni: 7

Meretz: 7

United Torah Judaism: 6

Arab parties: 9

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UPDATE 10:02 pm Israel time:

Here are current projections for seats in the Knesset:

Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu): 31

Torch for the Future (Lapid): 19

Labor (Yachimovich): 17

Jewish Home (Bennett): 12

Shas (Sephardic Orthodox): 12

Tzipi Livni: 7

Meretz: 7

United Torah Judaism: 6

Arab parties: 9

*In sum, if Shas and United Torah Judaism go with Netanyahu, the right will hold onto the government by the skin of its teeth: 61-59.

*The big winner tonight is Yair Lapid. Every undecided voter went to Lapid in the last 24 hours.

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UPDATE 9:30 pm Israel time:

A possible political earthquake in Israel tonight. There are unofficial reports that Yair Lapid caught even greater fire than this blog predicted yesterday. There are now estimates that Lapid may win as many as 20 seats in the election. If that is the case, the prospects of a right-wing Israeli government are greatly diminished.

The Central Election Commission has estimated that if there is a 70% turnout in the election, then the minimum number of votes that a party will need to pass the threshold is 70,000 votes. 

The Israeli system of allotting Knesset seats is complicated. Here is a brief description from the Knesset website:

“Israel has an electoral system based on nation-wide proportional representation. In other words, the number of seats that each list receives in the Knesset – the House of Representatives – is proportional to the number of votes it received. Unlike most of the Western parliamentary democracies, the system in Israel is followed in an extreme manner, and the only limitation on a list which participated in the elections being elected is that it should pass the qualifying threshold, which is currently 2%.”

What this essentially means is that the Central Elections Commission is projecting that 70,000 votes will be 2%. There are other arcane provisions regarding smaller parties sharing “surplus” votes, but they are too arcane to go into in this blog.

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UPDATE 9:00 pm Israel time:

Reports that Likud Beiteinu is in full panic mode making last ditch attempts to get out its base. The new story seems to be that they are losing voters to Yair Lapid’s party. There are even unofficial  “rumors” from Channel 10 news that Lapid may win enough seats to be the second largest party in the Knesset.

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UPDATE 8:30 pm Israel time: 

Voting stations have closed in the smaller communities around the country. All stations close at 10 pm. 

64% of eligible Israeli voters had voted as of 30 minutes ago.

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UPDATE 7 pm Israel time:

Israel is often ridiculously accused of discriminating against its Arab citizens. Here is a picture of an Israeli-Arab voting this morning.

By 6:00 pm, one hour ago, 55.5% of all Israelis eligible to vote have voted–more than 3,000,000 citizens.

Turnout is reported high in Tel Aviv and low in Beersheva.

In addition, by 5:00 pm,  57% of all IDF soldiers had voted–the highest percentage ever–and there are still 3 hours to go.

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UPDATE 6 pm Israel time:

Traditional “left’ locations are reporting a heavy turnout; traditional “right” locations are reporting a light turnout. Netanyahu and colleagues are exhorting “Likudniks” to go and vote.

The Israel Prison Service reports that 63% of all prisoners in Israel had voted as of 4 pm (an increase of some 35% over the last election.

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UPDATE 5 pm Israel time Tuesday:

An IDF soldier voting this morning.

Updates will appear every hour from now until we know the results of the election.

All polls will be closed in 5 hours at 10 pm Israel time. Polls will close in small communities in 3 hours.

According to the Central Election Committee, Israelis are voting in greater numbers than in 2009. As of one hour ago the turnout is 4.7% higher than in 2009 and the highest since 1999.

So far, 46.6 of eligible voters, approximately 2.5 million voters, have voted.

In total, there are 5,656,705 eligible voters and 10,132 voting stations throughout the country.

 

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