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The polls have just closed nationwide in Israel and now the race for results and the winning coalition begin.

The last polls showed the Likud-Lieberman coalition obtaining about 34 seats,

  • The Jewish Home 14 seats
  • Shas 11
  • Yesh Atid 11
  • UTJ 6
  • Labor 17
  • Livni 7

These are the last poll results available a few days back for the major parties.

It is interesting to note that Likud-Beiteinu camp actually loses a significant amount of seats compared to what they currently have. I warned about this phenomena as soon as the merger was announced… a large part of Lieberman’s Russian supporters will not vote or know to vote for a Likud ticket. This has been made worse by the fact Avigdor Lieberman has been quiet in the last period due to the indictment against him.

However, I also think polling may be under-estimating the Russian vote towards Likud due to polling difficulties.

In any event, I believe that it will be Yesh Atid that will do better than expected as that is the trend being observed. I hope the bulk of those voters are not otherwise Likud voters but that Lapid manages to take voters away from the leftist camp. I am unsure on how the Jewish Home and Otzma will do, hard to say. I also worry Likud may get less seats than those last polled.

The Lighthouse’s ideal coalition would be composed of:

  • Likud-Beiteinu
  • The Jewish Home
  • Otzma

…in order of party size. However, that coalition is highly unlikely. The best coalition that can at this point be hoped for would be the following:

  • Likud-Beiteinu
  • The Jewish Home
  • Otzma
  • UTJ

It is important to have a large enough coalition where no single party (or at least not the top two) can buckle the coalition and basically hold it under threat of blackmail continuously. In order to meet the challenges ahead, Bibi requires a stable coalition. We hope that including Shas will not be necessary. Shas would actually be a moderating and important part of the opposition. You also do not want a ruling coalition so large its complex to run, with too many parties. The less divided the ruling coalition is, the more united the remaining opposition is. Leaving Shas in the opposition would be very healthy for the country as it would moderate the opposition’s anti-Jewish stance but not endanger the government to Shas’ reckless and self-serving traditional behavior.

Unfortunately, a more likely but still reasonably good coalition will be:

  • Likud-Beiteinu
  • The Jewish Home
  • Shas
  • Otzma and/or UTJ

Finally, if the results are worse than we hope for,  the last possible reasonable acceptable coalition will be the following:

  • Likud-Beiteinu
  • The Jewish Home
  • Yesh Atid
  • Shas/Otzma/UTJ (1 or more of those)

If the results are poor enough where Netanyahu will be forced to include Labor, Meretz, Hatnua (Livni) or Kadima it will be a government doom to failure. It will not be able to meet Israel’s challenges and will force Netanyahu to veer far from the platform he ran on. Those parties are likely to refuse to seat with any Jewish parties and will do little more than demand legislation attacking Haredis, the Rabbinate and evicting Jews for land withdrawals.

At the end of the day however, it will be a happy day to see Kadima erased from existence, may it never come back.

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