We won – and we lost.
Likud came out six mandates ahead of Avoda ((Labor;) or rather, Hahitachdut HaTzionit (Zionist Union)).
Hertzog, unless Kulanu (“Together”, headed by Moshe Kachlon) will sit with the Arabs, will not be able to form a coalition.
In order to form a coalition, you need 61 mandates.
Hertzog has 24; Yesh Atid has 11; Meretz has 4. 24+11+4=39
If he takes Kulanu, which has 10 mandates, he will get 49. The Arabs have 14 mandates; if Hertzog takes them in addition to Kulanu, then he will have 63 mandates, or, in other words, a coalition. If Kachlon doesn’t agree to sit with the Arabs – and being a former Likud member, and whose voters are right-wing, he very possibly may not agree – then Hertzog has no coalition. Yay!!
The chareidi parties, Shas and Aguda (UTJ) will not sit with Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), because he is the one who spearheaded the campaign to force chareidim into the army. Technically, the chareidim are more worth it than Lapid, because together, they have 14 mandates, while Lapid has only 11. But Hertzog’s natural partner is Yesh Atid, and he will take the chareidim (some of whom will probably agree to sit with Arabs, some of whom will probably not) only as a last resort – unless a miracle occurs and they agree to sit with Lapid, which is highly unlikely.
Let’s take a look at Bibi. I was right last time, and maybe I will be right this time. Last time I said, why not just take Lapid and Bennett? With Likud, Lapid, and Bennett, we already have a coalition, and because it is only three parties, it was expected to be stable (less demands, less zigzgging, less chance of it toppling over stupidities; Lapid proved stupider than I thought and therefore the potentially stable coalition was very unstable).
At any rate:
Bibi has 30 mandates; Bayit Yehudi has 8; Shas has 7; Yisrael Beiteinu and Aguda (UTJ) have six each. 30+8+7+6+6=57. It’s still just short of a coalition, but if Kulanu joins them, then they will have 67, which is a good coalition. Will it happen? Actually, it’s very likely.
What does it depend on? A few things:
1. That Kulanu refuse to sit with Arabs, and agree to join Bibi.
2. That the chareidim not insist on changing the draft law, and agree to sit with Bibi without making completely unreasonable demands.
3. That no one else on the right make completely unreasonable demands or refuse to sit with each other.
4. That Netanyahu and Hertzog not agree to a unity government.
If any of the first three happen, we are headed for new elections. If the last one happens, we are in big trouble.
I am also very frustrated that 3+ mandates of right wing votes went to trash. Like in previous elections, a lot of right wing votes went to a start-up party that no one was entirely sure would pass the threshold. Last time, it was Otzma L’Yisrael, and 66,775 votes went down the drain. This time, it was Yachad, and 118,368 votes went down the drain. Also remember that last time, the minimum was 2 mandates; this time, the minimum was raised to 4 mandates. Especially during these elections, when every right wing vote mattered, losing that many votes is a huge frustration and loss. Wherever you would’ve put them – Shas, Aguda, Bayit Yehudi – they would have done something. If they had all gone to Bayit Yehudi, then they would have 11 mandates instead of 8. Let’s say some were taken from Shas and some from Aguda, as well as those from Bayit Yehudi – Bayit Yehudi would have 9, Shas would have 8, Aguda would have 7. And possibly one of those would have gained two extra seats, because it’s not just 3 mandates – it’s 3+, which means that Yachad’s extra, plus someone else’s extra, might’ve added a second mandate to one of those.
Remember we said that a right-wing government, without Kulanu, had 57 mandates? If we had those 3+, we might very well have had a coalition right there, even without worrying about who Kachlon will join. Isn’t that a shame? I, and many other right wing voters, think it is.