As we’ve reported here on Matzav, with almost all the ballots counted for Israel’s general election, the ruling Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has scored a dramatic and decisive victory over the rival Zionist Union party.
99% of votes have been counted from a total of 4,223,057 and Likud is in first place with 23.29 percent. Zionist Union is trailing far behind in second place with 18.76 percent, almost 5 percentage points behind Likud.
The results give Netanyahu 29 seats in Israel’s Knesset, a full 5 more than the Zionist Union with 24. The tally significantly exceeds exit poll results which showed the two parties in a dead heat.
The United Arab List is in third place at 10.95 percent or 14 seats, followed by the centrist Yesh Atid with 8.78 percent or 11 seats and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu with 7.42 percent or 10 seats. Bayit Yehudi now holds 6.40 percent or 8 seats, Shas has 5.82 percent or 7 seats, Yisrael Beiteinu has 5.17 percent or 6 seats, and United Torah Judaism has 5.18 percent.
Meretz looks like it has barely passed the threshold at 3.90 percent or 4 seats, but Eli Yishai’s Yachad only has 2.98 percent and does not pass the electoral threshold.
71.8% of those eligible to vote made their way to the election booths on Tuesday from all around Israel, and some Israelis even traveled from abroad to cast their vote. This is the highest voter turnout since the 1999 elections, and is 4% more than the elections in 2013.