Final Israel Election Results Shows Dead Even 60/60 Left-Right Split

Even Closer Than Exit Polls as Kadima Squeaks In

Ex-Anchorman: Yair Lapid speaks after his surprisingly strong showing in Israel’s election.
Getty Images
Ex-Anchorman: Yair Lapid speaks after his surprisingly strong showing in Israel’s election.

By JTA

Published January 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel’s final election results show that the right-wing and left-wing blocs are evenly split.

The Likud Party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a combined campaign with Avidgor Liberman’s right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, took 31 seats in the 19th Knesset, down from the 42 seats now held by the two parties, according to results released on the morning of Jan. 23.

The new center-left Yesh Atid finished a surprising second. The party, which is led by the former television personality Yair Lapid, son of former head of the secular Shinu Party Tommy Lapid, ran a low-key campaign that garnered it 19 seats.

The right-wing bloc finished the poll with 60 votes, to the left-wing bloc, including the 12 votes that went to Arab parties, also with 60 votes.

Although exit polls showed the Kadima Party, which won the most votes in the 2009 elections with 28 when it was led by Tzipi Livni, as not breaking the 2 percent threshold, the final tally gave 2 seats to the party.

Other parties in the 19th Knesset are: Labor with 15 seats; the Sephardic Orthodox Shas Party with 11 seats, the same as in the previous government; the Jewish Home Party led by Naftali Bennett with 11 seat, up from 3 in the last Knesset; the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party with 7 seats; 6 seats for the new Hatnuah Party led by former opposition leader Tzipi Livni; the left-wing Meretz Party with 6 seats; the United Arab List-Taal Party with 5 seats; the Arab-Jewish Hadash Party with 4 seats; and the Arab-Israeli Balad Party with 3 votes.

Some 66.6 percent, or 3.767 million, of Israel’s 5,656,705 eligible voters turned out to vote, according to the Central Elections Committee. The number of voters in Jan. 22’s election was the highest since 1999, though turnout was down significantly among Arab voters.

The election results will not be certified until next week. Ballots cast by soldiers in the field, hospital patients, prisoners and overseas government personnel, among other special double-envelope ballots, have not yet been counted.

“I am proud to be your prime minister and I thank you for giving me the opportunity, for the third time, to lead the State of Israel,” Netanyahu told supporters at his campaign headquarters shortly after midnight. “It is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is an opportunity to make changes that the citizens of Israel wish upon themselves and that will serve all the citizens of Israel. I intend on making those changes by forming the broadest coalition possible, and I have begun working toward that tonight.”

“A heavy responsibility has been placed on our shoulders tonight,” Lapid told his supports, in a speech delivered at the same time as Netanyahu and shown on a split screen on the major Israeli networks. “I urge the senior members of the political system to form as broad a government as possible that would unite the moderate forces from the Left and Right, so that we will be able to bring about real change in the State of Israel,” Lapid said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres will consult with party leaders and ask them who they would recommend to form the next government. Peres then will choose the party leader most likely to be able to form a successful coalition government – it is expected to be Netanyahu – who then has up to 42 days to present his government for a vote of confidence.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.