Solid Netanyahu Win

Former PM Benjamin Netanyahu appears poised to reclaim the Israeli Prime Ministership after yesterday’s election. Indeed, it looks likely to be by a significantly larger margin than expected. The reason has to do not with questionable polls but with the particular dynamics of the Israeli parliamentary system. Exit polls last night predicated that Netanyahu’s bloc would get 61 or 62 Knesset seats, an extremely tight margin (out of 120) but enough. That was in line with most polls. But he’s now predicted to get 65 seats, a critical difference. What changed is that Meretz, a left-wing party, appears to have fallen just below the parliamentary election threshold of 3.25%. If that holds they’re excluded altogether. So four seats suddenly get pulled out of the center-left bloc and go to other parties. That’s mostly what gets you from 61-62 to 65. It’s not a huge difference. But it’s a critical one and one that stands a good chance of breaking the electoral stalemate of the last four years.

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