Early Results Encouraging but Optimistic

Early Results Encouraging for Netanyahu

With around 90 percent of the votes counted from Monday’s election in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be in a stronger position than before, despite the fact that he has been indicted in court on corruption charges.

The results suggest that Netanyahu’s Likud Party will secure 36 seats, but that his right-wing group of parties will only have 59 seats – 2 short of the 61 needed to secure a working majority.

Early election resultsTimes of Israel graphic based on 90 percent of the votes.


Whilst the final results are awaited, there is much initial posturing taking place between the various parties, but several leaders have said they will do everything they can to avoid resorting to a fourth election.

Final results may not be known until Wednesday 4th March, or even later, but some observers say that the initial results represent an overwhelming personal mandate for Benjamin Netanyahu, whose trial for corruption is due to start on 17th March.

But later results disappointing (4th March)

With 99 percent of the votes now counted, the situation has changed slightly, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition dropping to a predicted 58 seats in the Knesset, 3 short of a majority.

It seems that even the last 1 percent of votes to be counted can still influence this outcome, so once again we wait for the final results.

But it looks as if there are more, difficult negotiations ahead amongst Israel’s politicians if they are to form a working government.

Update - 6th March

With 99.9 percent of the votes counted the situation has remained a disappointing one for most concerned, as Israel still has no clear majority government. Whilst the Likud Party has gained 4 seats compared to the September 2019 election result, that only brought them back up to the number they obtained in the April 2019 election, and still leaves them 3 seats short of obtaining a majority coalition.

BICOM analysis after 99 votes countedBICOM final analysis.

Observers seem to think the only hope of avoiding a fourth election is if Likud can persuade 3 Members of the Knesset to defect from the Left-wing coalition.

One point of interest is that the Arab Joint List gained another 2 seats to reach a total of 15 – their best result of all three elections during the last 12 months.