More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/muqata Keyword #GazaWar
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4:17 AM JoeSettler signing off. Good night/morning.
Remember, these numbers are not final, and we will see the various parties going up or down a seat over the next day. What is clear is that the Right Wing/Religious parties have clearly won the majority in the Knesset. What also remains to be seen is if Lieberman really is a Right Wing party, or will Kadima be able to buy him off.
4:13 AM 99% From Haaretz:
4:08 AM Kadima leads by only 35331. Far too close to tell with the still uncounted soldier's votes. We may not know who is the biggest party until Wednesday night or Thursday.
It is still clear that the RW/Religious bloc is the majority.
4:04 AM YNET with 98.7% Lieberman 14, UTJ 5
4:00 AM YNET and Haaretz says that with 98.2% of the vote in Kadima 28, Likud 27, Ichud Leumi 4, Bayit Yehudi 3, Shas 11, Lieberman 15, UTJ 4, Labor 13, Meretz 3.
3:47 AM 3162613 votes counted. Kadima expands lead to 35378. Again my calculations say Kadima 27, Likud 26 (with a slight chance that Likud could be bumped to 27 seats).
3:14 AM The soldier's votes will only be counted on Wednesday.
2:49 AM 2801150 votes in. Kadima leads Likud by 30237.
Chart from Ynet :
2:36 AM 77% counted (2601073 votes counted). Kadima leads by 32445 votes. (1.26%)
2:33 AM 69% of the votes counted. Estimated seats: Kadima 29, Likud 28, Yisrael Beitenu 16, Labor 12, Shas 11, Meretz 4, United Torah Judaism 4, Ichud Leumi 4, Hadash 4, Habayit Hayehudi 3, Raam – Ta'al 3 and Balad 2.
2:23 AM With 2374785 votes counted, Kadima now leads with 30048 (1.29%) above the Likud (before vote sharing and disqualified votes and parties). It looks like the effective difference between them is 1-2 seats.
2:16 AM Vote sharing: A number of parties have set up a paired vote sharing relationship. It effectively works out that the party that is closer to getting another seat will get the extra votes from it's partner's party that would otherwise go to waste - as long as the partner party passed the minimum threshold.
Kadima's partner, the Green party, will not pass the threshold. Likud and Lieberman are partners, and one or the other could gain an extra seat. The same is true for Ichud Leumi and HaBayit HaYehudi (where it looks like I"L will get the seat).
1:53 AM 2043832 votes in, and Kadima's lead over Likud jumps to 22671 (but still 1 seat apart in percentages). It looks like Ichud Leumi may be up to 4 seats and Bayit Yehudi 3.
1:48 AM I found it sad but amusing that when reporting the results, the Israeli media defined the Likud and all parties to the right as Right wing parties, but Kadima and all the parties to the Left as Center-Left parties. Could they try to be a little more blatant in their worldview?
1:45 AM Kadima now has only 12,632 more votes than the Likud (before vote sharing is counted).
1:35 AM Now that's interesting. The gap between Kadima and the Likud is dropping. My calculations show them at just a little more than 1 seat apart, with nearly 50% of the votes counted. Will they be tied by morning?
Kadima now has only 12,632 more votes than the Likud (before vote sharing).
1:21 AM More interesting stats:
Votes counted so far: 1135125
Invalidated votes: 14595
Valid votes: 1120530
1:10 AM Put up a post called "Bittersweet" on JoeSettler, which I think accurately describes the results of this election.
43% of the votes counted so far.
12:41 AM Massive rainfall and hail on the Kinneret!
12:38 AM Interesting results from Kfar Chabad:
National Union: 1400 votes
Yisrael Beiteini: 20
Bayit Yehudi: 13
12:16 AM Just a reminder that what we are seeing now are exit polls, and only the beginning of the counting of the votes. The soldier votes still haven't been counted. This can result in a significant change by the morning. Not to mention the various vote sharing arrangements.
12:11 AM First of all, it is raining in Israel, and raining hard. More rain than we've had all winter long I'd say.
12:03 AM JoeSettler here. Will update post very soon. I will keep posting here, and we will do a new post in the morning when the final results are in.
11:00 PM I'm off to bed. Will be back on early AM to summarize actual results.
Good Night from Israel,
Jameel @ The Muqata
10:55 PM Live Actual Results can be seen all night long at the government election result website, here (sorry, it's in Hebrew only).
10:47 PM Slight Update on Exit Poll Roundup: Due to the expansion of the Arab party Balad and Raam Taal, the second graphic below's representation of the right/wing is slightly off (thanks to the commenter who noticed).
Here is the fixed/update version:
10:39 PM Update on Shooting attack: A passenger car was targeted by Terrorist gunfire near the town of Beit El in the Shomron/Binyamin region. Bullets damaged the car, yet no one was hurt.
10:36 PM Reports of Shooting/Terror attack in Beit El Area. All news sites reporting attack -- no details of wounded.
10:34 PM Breaking News: Terror attack in Beit El. Details to follow.
10:27 PM What happens next:
1. Final Results to be announced by 6 AM
2. President Shimon Peres will then go from party to party and ask if they will form a government with the leader of the largest party (and if not, which leader would they follow).
3. Assuming it's Livni -- she will try to woo Leiberman into her government, meaning that the left would have a majority government.
4. If Leiberman holds strong, then the second largest party leader (Netanyahu) will be asked to form a government -- and since the Rightwing is larger than the left, its likely he'll succeed.
10:26 PM Disappointment in Likud -- only 1-2 seats would have meant the difference for a clear-cut victory.
10:25 PM Updated Ultimate Muqata Exit Poll Roundup:
10:18 PM Hamas Rocket lands in Western Negev about 15 minutes ago. No injuries, No Damage.
10:16 PM Ultimate Muqata Exit Poll Roundup:
10:06 PM Conflicting Analysis: Right wing states -- the people have spoken -- NO to the path of the Left and Kadima. (Right Wing bloc clear victory)
Left Wing States: Tzippi Livni is the leader of Israel, since her party beat Likud by 1-2 seats. Irrelevant how many people voted Right Wing.
10:04 PM All Channels Point to a small lead of 1-2 seats for Kadima ahead of the Likud.
The right wing leads by 65 - 55.
10 PM Channel 10 Announces....EXIT POLLS:
Yisrael Beiteinu 15
9:56 PM 4 minutes remain. At 10:02 PM I'll have a post up showing the 3 primary channel exit polls (Channels 1, 2 and 10)
9:52 PM 8. Minutes. Remain.
Till the polls close and the exit polls are announced.
Watch this space!
9:07 PM Gut feeling results so far: Likud and Kadima neck and neck. Labour goes down to 14. Leiberman 18. National Union 7-8. Bayit Yehudi 2-3. Shas 8-9. Aguda 5.
note: these are unscientific results based on my reading of the internet, people Ive been talking to, and other media reports.
8:55 PM The polls will be closing at 10 PM, and at that time, the exit polls will be announced. Be here at the Muqata for all the exit poll results...political commentary...and more.
My personal opinion is that the exit polls are going to be so close, we won't know till late tonight who the real winner is...
8:46 PM At the behest of her spin doctors, Tzippi Livni announced this evening at the Kadima party headquarters in Petach Tikva: "The leader of the party with the most mandates [seats] is the winner, with the trust of the public".
Explanation; The Kadima party may win the election tonight, despite the right wing bloc being significantly bigger than the left. Livni therefore is demanding to be made Prime Minister despite the majority of the country voting right wing (and against Kadima and Tzippi Livni)
8:45 PM As of 8 PM, there was a 60% voter turnout which is very high.
6:38 PM Amnesty International reporting that since the pause in the Gaza war, Hamas troops (in Gaza) have killed scores of rival Fatah party members (including inside hospitals), and tortured many more.
6:30PM Voter turnout at 50.3% of eligible voters. Up 3% from the 2006 election at the same time of the day.
5:45 PM Kol Chai Radio reports that Tzippi Livni is feeling "weak" and decided to stop campaigning, and spend the rest of the day at her home. (source)
5:31 PM How voting works in Israel (just came back from voting)
1. After presenting your Israeli ID to the local election board, you receive an official envelope. You go behind a cardboard/plastic "curtain" which is placed on a table, enclosing 3 sides. Its about 3 feet high, on top of a 3 foot high table.
Behind the "plastic curtain" you are presented with little pieces of paper, with the "call letters" of all the parties running in the election, and their names.
2. You pick a piece of paper (one only) and place it in the envelope.
3. You seal the envelope (and note, its signed by the local election board representatives)
4. You walk back outside the plastic curtain, and there is a ballot box in front of the election board. Place your envelope in the box...and hope for the best.
4:55 PM Here's a roundup from the spin doctors running around the internet (its all conjecture, don't assume any of it is true)
Bayit HaYehudi to get 7 seats
Ichud Leumi to get between 9-11 seats, Bayit HaYehudi doesn't pass minimum vote amount.
Senior Hamas sources encouraging Israelis to vote for Kadima
Nail biting in Likud headquarters that Kadima is neck and neck with the Likud
4:40 PM Please pardon the technical difficulties with the blog's banner.
3:56 PM JoeSettler voted Ichud Leumi and convinced at least one other person to do the same.
2:31 PM Over 34% of eligible voters have exercised their right to vote.
Reports of Police and Ultra Orthodox "radicals" clashing in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Details to follow.
2:27 PM On threat of being permanently banned from this blog, JoeSettler is "correcting" the special election banner ballot to a "question mark" instead of a vote for National Union/Ichud Leumi. (Besides that, thanks JoeSettler for the new banner).
1:56 PM Israeli Arab mistakenly believes he's a senior British diplomat -- Police detained an Israeli-Arab who arrived at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and started shouting anti-Semitic slurs at a group of Jews visiting the site. (ynetnews)
1:22 PM 24.5% of eligible voters have voted so far. Election Committee considering extending voting time past 10 PM due to the very stormy weather.
12:37 PM 23.4% of eligible voters have voted so far.
12:35 PM National Union and Bayit Yehudi file complaints as their ballot tickets were missing from most polling stations in Bnei Brak.
12:11 PM In honor of Israel's election day, Google Israel's search engine web-page has a special graphic.
12:03 AM Hundreds of (Israeli) Arab rioters in Umm El Fahm threw rocks and screamed "Itbach El Yahud" (Slaughter the Jews) in response to National Union candidate MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad's presence as a poll observer in the city. Five rioters were arrested by the police. (source in Hebrew)
Eldad has been safely escorted away from the city by police forces.
11:29 AM Israeli Arab rioters destroy fence around ballot location in Umm El Fahm, where National Union representative Aryeh Eldad was assigned as poll observer.
Police safely evacuated Eldad from the mob, though Eladad claims he requested the Police's help to leave -- unlreated the the mob's violence. (source)
Democracy at it's finest.
I can gaurantee you that the Jewish settlers in Beit El were not rioting agaisnt the presence of a poll observer / representative from the Arab Raam-Taal party. (Edit by Litvshe: Nope, no rioting here)
10:59 AM Senior UK Diplomat arrested for Anti-Semitic tirade. (source)
A senior diplomat in the British Foreign Office has been arrested for inciting religious hatred after he launched into an anti-Semitic tirade at a London gym, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.10:43 AM Israel's Maariv newspaper decides the Israeli elections are too close call, and publish their own "MAD Magazine" edition of Maariv. (Flip it upside down if the other candidate wins.)
Witnesses told the British newspaper they heard diplomat Rowan Laxton shouting "f**king Israelis, f**king Jews" while watching a TV report of Israel Defense Forces operations in Gaza from the seat of an exercise bike.
He also reportedly shouted that IDF soldiers should be "wiped off the face of the Earth."
Mad Magazine did the same thing in the too close to call 1961 US elections, and then printed a different cover on the back of their magazine, so they were covered no matter who won. I guess that shows you that Maariv isn't that serious a newspaper to begin with)
10:34 AM Hamas in Damascus Syria announce they are ready for a period of
In the first Hamas interview with the Western media since last month's ceasefire in Gaza, its deputy leader Musa Abu Marzouk told The Daily Telegraph that the Palestinian group was ready for a period of "calm".10:30 AM Good Morning Israel! Its pouring rain in the hills of the Shomron...rain in the winter is always a good sign. Election updates and information coming soon.
A chandeliered room in the Syrian capital Damascus - where several Hamas leaders live in exile - is a long way from the ruins of the Gaza Strip but a weary frustration with the deprivations of war was pervasive.
"We need to rebuild the buildings destroyed in the aggression," said Mr Marzouk. "We need to treat the wounded - more than 5,000 need serious treatment. We need to help all the families without food and shelter. We need the gates of Gaza to open to lift the siege.
"All this can only be dealt with by period of calm between the two sides."
Hamas negotiators have been instructed to accept the terms of a ceasefire pact negotiated by Egyptian mediators in Cairo
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד