Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SuperElection Tuesday Feb 10 2009

Super Tuesday -- Israel Election Day Special Edition!

More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/muqata Keyword #GazaWar

Note: Using the "Refresh" (F5 key) command in your Web Browser will show you the latest updates -- Refresh on an Apple/Mac is apple+R

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
Shas: 200
Likud: 170
Gimel: 111
Yisrael Beiteini: 20
Bayit Yehudi: 13
Meretz: 2
Greens: 1

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:

Kadima 30
Likud 28
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.

Right: 65
Left: 55

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.
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.

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."
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.)

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 reloading calm
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".

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
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.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Commenter Abbi said...

You do realize there's still a little IU tag underneath that deranged smiley guy?

NormanF said...

You do realize Israelis have to vote the way Israel's "divine right" rulers expect them to vote? The corruption and lawlessness makes the Soviet Union look like a true democracy.

Anonymous said...

VOTE KADIMA - only 6 hours left to vote.

A vote for Kadima is a vote for democracy

Anonymous said...

The smiley guy is Jameel.
Above Jameel it says MaCHaL which is the Likud's letters. In the bottom corner is JoeSettler and of course the Tet of Ichud Leumi.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope the "other person" Joe Settler convinced to vote Ichud Leumi wasn't Jameel and that's why the banner is missing!!!!!!!

On the other hand I was successful in convincing a young man fence sitting between Yisrael Beteinu and Likud to vote Likud...

Anonymous said...

I heartily support any attempt to convince any and all Yisrael Beiteinu voters to vote Likud.

mkf: No, Jameel just couldn't find "Bet" Bayit Yehudi anywhere, including on the banner, so he tried to change it.

Jack Steiner said...

I want the Waffle banner to come back.

Eliezer said...

Reports of Police and Ultra Orthodox "radicals" clashing in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Details to follow.

How can you leave that out there with no further details????

-from someone in RBS

Anonymous said...

Muqata's instructions for voting state that, after inserting the ballot into the envelope, the envelope should be sealed before being dropped into the ballot box. However, about 15 minutes ago, at the polling station at 20 Lod Street in Jerusalem, I was specifically instructed NOT to seal the envelope before I dropped it into the box.
What's going on here?!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Reuven: Its ok if you don't seal the envelope! I always do because I'm worried about the "peteK" falling out of the envelope, and an empty envelope is not counted.

Eliezer: I'm VERY sorry I didnt get more information about that news report -- it dropped off the newsfeed radar!

I'll see if I can find out more...

Anonymous said...

You do NOT have to seal the envelopes, but you have the right to do so if you want.
The people at the polls like to tell people to not seal their envelopes because it makes their job easier when they count them.

A Soldier's Mother said...

News is talking about a clear message. Kadima did so well by taking votes from the left, not from the right. This means - left was more united than the right. We splintered ourselves into many parties. If Netanyahu gets the chance to form a government, the message we want to send him may work. If Livni is given the chance and succeeds (even by pulling in the Arab parties), the message will be meaningless. In the meantime - another rocket fell in the last few minutes.

Anonymous said...

Well, MAYBE Kadima did well, but we are talking about the Left Wing press here too, and they have been notorious in the past for trying to influence the outcome by showering their party of choice with optimism...

I still think that the Likud comes out on top and that the exit polls are left wing optimism alone.

Ezzie said...

Considering how poorly Ichud Leumi did, it is worth noting that had their voters in fact gone with the Likud, the Likud would have won. (Sorry Joe.) Instead, they are a fringe party that will have no say on anything, and are not even needed to form a RW government should Likud get the chance anyway, let alone have any serious clout.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you did this on an Excel spreadsheet yet you must not have cause your numbers are wrong.

If you add them up it comes to a R/L split of 63/57, 64/56 and 63/57.

Were one to assume polling is correct (and I believe there is reason to doubt) hardly a RW blowout. Moreover, some of those parties classfied as RW are RW-lite and probably could be bought if Livni comes out ahead.

Ezzie said...

My biggest concern if I'm on the RW is Shas/Agudah or Lieberman selling out for seats or something else to Livni. It's happened before.

Anonymous said...

Shas WILL sell out for very little, but Yisrael Beiteinu will demand a lot because they are a MUST for either side to form a government... and Lieberman knows that.

Jon said...

Going to bed so early?!?!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jon: I'm wiped out! :)

anon 10:35 -- thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in the excel sheet -- I updated it (with an explanation of how it happened).

Good Night all -- and I'm still convinced I voted correctly.

Jon said...

Layla Tov - regards from the Pacific NW

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jon: Thanks for commenting! (Wow...Pacific NW is so far away from here...the global village shrinks daily)

Anonymous said...

Ezie, Don't be so quick to count out the I"L from the Right Wing coalition.

Bibi is going to need them if that is the direction he goes for one simple reason, they are going to give him the least headache from all his coalition partners.

The big problem is still Lieberman and Shas who can go either way.

Ezzie said...

Sorry, that doesn't work. When it comes down to it, he NEEDS both Lieberman and Shas to make a RW coalition, no matter if he gets I'L or not. They're simply irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Ezzie, based on the current exit polls, Bibi will need the support of ALL the RW and religious parties. Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas together do not push the Likud over the top.

There is of course another constellation to think of, and that is that Labor sits with Bibi, and that lowers the price of either Shas or Lieberman.

Ezzie said...

Admittedly, Jameel's original 65-55 threw me off, but it looks like he can choose either I'L or B'Y, and I bet I know which is easier for him.

Anonymous said...

He's will likely go with both, and they both will cooperate with him.

I'm writing a post on JoeSettler about this right now.

Litvshe said...


Take into consideration that the Central area polling stations are counted first. Most likely we'll see a jump in Likud/Right as outlying towns are counted.

Anonymous said...

Just over 2 million votes counted and Kadima now has over 20,000 more than Likud, God help us...

Anonymous said...

Simon, on an individual party level that is bad, but in what looks like a right wing/religious bloc, we are leading big time.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but the Golan Heights were finished first, as was Eilat and the Negev a while ago.

Ezzie said...

Interesting that over 30k votes have been invalidated. Is that high or normal?

With 80% counted, a RW/religious bloc would have 66 seats.

Ezzie said...

Ouch. Latest update knocks that to 64.

Anonymous said...

JoeSettler I hear you but you realise that your right wing bloc includes parties that are very left wing on economic issues. Meaning that a right wing coalition might be formed but with compromises that will cripple the economy.

If Shas get's 11 seats, what will than mean for further economic reforms to make it easier to create wealth?

Ezzie said...

I don't think that's true; other than Shas, the parties are more to the right economically.

Ezzie said...

Er... and Agudah.

Anonymous said...

exactly Ezzie. At least 15 seats in a coalition of 64-65. That will come at a price.

Ezzie said...

Better that price than them switching to join Livni, though - something they might threaten to do.

But you're right - a heavy price.

Anonymous said...

I discussed this on my blog. I think they will all find a way to work together.

The economics side will be difficult, but remember that Kadima completely spurned Shas's demands last time, and Shas recognizes that while their sector is hurting from the removal of the child stipends, Bibi's economic plan is what helped keep our economy from collapsing. There will definitely be some horse trading there.

Anonymous said...

I"L is free market, and B"Y is probably also. Y"B is definitely free market.

There is also the religious issue. Lieberman wants to push for civil marriages. How will that work with UTJ and Shas?

Anonymous said...

All I write assumes the results stay approximately as the tentative numbers appear.

The right should only see this as a disaster and the center-left as a surprise 11th hour reprieve. A government that was corrupt, botched up one war and set up miniscule goals for another is able to remain one of the two primary parties in Israel. What will it take for the RW to win - a defeat in a more substantive war? Even if all the math would allow for a RW government, that's no longer where the smart money will lie.

If the results stay approximately constant, whoever wins (but especially Kadima) will have incentive to have a Kadima-Likud coalition.

As much as the two parties leaderships hate each other, together they only need one other party and can play Shas, Yisrael Beitenu and Labor against each other meaning their own interests get best served. Even UTJ, as of now, can offer them enough for 60 seats. Their joint governance is the best recipe for stability over 4 years and even Netanyahu would probably prefer negotiating one time to get control then haggle with the 5 or 6 other parties he'd need all of to maintain his leadership.

Meanwhile serious questions will need to be asked as to whether Yisrael Beitenu sparked a counter-vote that overwhelmed whatever it is that it thought it was accomplishing. The right of the right may well have overplayed their hand.

Netanyahu has the better hand (though a Kadima-Yisrael Beitenu coaltion is also possible, though far less stable) in that, unlike Livni, he'll have several theoretical choices. But his best bet is to use that as leverage for a 'centrist' coalition.

HAGTBG (also Anon 10:35)

Ezzie said...

More scary - should Kadima wish to, they could form a coalition by playing those same parties against one another.

Gee a Moron said...

The "double-envelope" overseas, soldier, sailors etc. votes are only going to be counted tomorrow. Traditionally combat soldiers have voted to the right. Does anyone know how many votes are left to be counted? How likely is it that these votes could swing the results to (at least) a tie between Likud-Kadima in the number of mandates?

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