With 90.3% of the votes counted, Blue & White is slightly ahead of the Likud. Blue & White has won 32 seats, the Likud 31 seats, the Joint Arab List 13 seats, Shas 9, Yisrael Beitenu 9, United Torah Judaism 8, Yemina 7, Labor-Gesher 6, and the Democratic Camp 5.
Such a final result would mean a deadlock with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud unable to form a right wing coalition without Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu, who refuses to sit with the religious parties. Blue & White would also be unable to form a 61-seat coalition. Liberman has already repeated his demand that he will only support a national unity Likud-Blue & White coalition.
Assuming that neither of the big parties (and the public) will want yet another election, the only solution would be such a national unity government. But who would be prime minister first in any rotation government? Would the Likud be prepared to ditch Netanyahu? These are the imponderables.
Two of the most notable differences in this election, compared with the April vote, were the strengthening of Liberman following his stand against the religious parties, and the strengthening of the Arab vote (62% yesterday compared with under 50% in April) following escalated incitement by Netanyahu and the right.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 18, 2019
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