4,335,320 ballots cast. Over 54% went to two parties. Here’s who got what
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Full election resultsNo party except Likud and Blue and White won more than 6%

4,335,320 ballots cast. Over 54% went to two parties. Here’s who got what

Likud comes out top, but scoring his best ever result was veteran (failed) Knesset candidate Ilan Meshicha who, for the first time in three election cycles, didn’t come last

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

The Central Elections Committee counts ballots from soldiers and absentee voters at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 10, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
The Central Elections Committee counts ballots from soldiers and absentee voters at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 10, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The results are in, finally. (Almost.)

A full 60 hours after the polling stations closed and exit polls predicted, er, a mixed bag of results, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was confirmed Thursday night as the big winner of Israel’s general elections, when the Central Elections Committee published the completed tallies of Tuesday’s national ballot.

While a record 39 parties ran in the election, the final results gave seats to only 11, leaving out a few disappointed factions who had confidently expected to get into the Knesset and many more others who never had a prayer.

In fact, of the 4,335,320 Israelis who voted (68.4 percent of the 6,335,387 eligible voters), over 54% of the votes went to just two parties — Likud and chief rival’s Blue and White, who collectively received 2,262,701 individual ballots.

With none of the other nine parties that won seats receiving more than 6% of the vote, the final count was delayed due to the need to carefully calculate the “extra” votes for each party cast by soldiers, diplomats and other absentees, which led to adjustments to the tentative results that had been issued early Wednesday. And even when releasing these ostensibly final tallies, the Supreme Court justice overseeing the elections said they were not official, and reserved the right to amend them before they are formally handed to the president on April 17.

Nonetheless, with all of the votes counted, checked and rechecked, Netanyahu’s Likud party edged out front with 26.45% to win 36 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, gaining one more seat in the adjusted final tally. The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party dropped a seat, from Wednesday’s tentative eight to seven. Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White faction was confirmed at 35 seats, 26.11% of ballots.

The bloc of Likud and its ultra-Orthodox and right-wing allies finished with 65 seats, compared to 55 for the center, left and Arab parties, giving Netanyahu a clear path for building a majority coalition.

The results also confirmed that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right party narrowly failed to garner enough support to win any seats, ending up with 3.22% of the votes cast nationwide; the minimum threshold for Knesset representation is 3.25%. New Right had pinned its hopes on the soldiers’ votes elevating it into the Knesset for the minimum four seats, and sources in the party challenged the count during Thursday when it emerged that it had fallen short.

Moshe Feiglin’s ultra-nationalist libertarian Zehut party, which polls had predicted could win up to seven seats, also failed to pass the threshold, gaining 2.73% of the vote with 117,587 ballots.

On the right, Aryeh Deri’s ultra-Orthodox Shas party wound up as the third-largest Knesset faction with eight seats, followed by UTJ with its seven, the Union of Right-Wing parties and Yisrael Beytenu both with five and Kulanu four.

On the other side of the spectrum, Arab party Hadash-Ta’al won six seats, the Labor Party crashed to a dismal record low of six, Meretz won four seats, and the second Arab party, Ra’am-Balad, also won four.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to his supporters after polls for Israel’s general elections closed in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Likud’s 36 seats was the party’s best result since the 2003 election (when it won 38 seats under Ariel Sharon), and its best under Netanyahu.

Also scoring his best ever result was veteran Knesset candidate Ilan Meshicha who, for the first time in three election cycles, did not come last. In the 2015 election, his Social Leadership party set a record for receiving the least ever seats by any faction running in any Israeli election — it scored 223 votes. Amazingly, the previous record was also held by Meschicha who in the 2013 elections won 461 votes — then the lowest ever — with his now-defunct Tradition of the Fathers party.

Election turnout was 67.9%, down from 72% in 2015.

Following is a complete list of seats, vote percentage and total votes received by each of the 39 parties who ran in the April 9 election for the 21st Knesset:

Likud

Votes: 1,138,772
Vote share: 26.45%
Knesset seats: 36

Blue and White

Votes: 1,123,929
Vote share: 26.11%
Knesset seats: 35

Shas

Votes: 257,869
Vote share: 5.99%
Knesset seats: 8

United Torah Judaism

Votes: 248,490
Vote share: 5.77%
Knesset seats: 7

Hadash-Ta’al

Votes: 193,267
Vote share: 4.49%
Knesset seats: 6

Labor

Votes: 191,323
Vote share: 4.44%
Knesset seats: 6

Yisrael Beytenu

Votes: 172,933
Vote share: 4.02%
Knesset seats: 5

United Right-Wing Parties

Votes: 159,303
Vote share: 3.70%
Knesset seats: 5

Meretz

Votes: 156,217
Vote share: 3.63%
Knesset seats: 4

Kulanu

Votes: 152,568
Vote share: 3.54%
Knesset seats: 4

Ra’am-Balad

Votes: 143,844
Vote share: 3.34%
Knesset seats: 4

Parties that failed to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold:

New Right: 138,437 votes, 3.22%
Zehut: 117,587 votes, 2.73%
Gesher: 74,565 votes, 1.73%

The Arab List: 4,238 votes, 0.10%
Social Justice: 3,840 votes, 0.09%
Magen: 3,439 votes, 0.08%
Justice for All: 3,279 votes 0.08%
Tzomet, headed by Oren Hazan: 2,430 votes, 0.06%
Yashar: 1,443 votes, 0.03%
Zechuyotenu Beyadenu: 1,313 votes, 0.03%
Pensioners Party: 1,203 votes, 0.03%
Kol Yisrael and Peula LeYisrael: votes, 1,138 0.03%
Pirate Party: 818 votes, 0.02%
Simply Love: 731 votes, 0.02%
Eretz Yisrael Shelanu: 700 votes, 0.02%
Mehat’hala: 664 votes, 0.02%
Na Nach: 624 votes, 0.01%
Hope For Change: 596 votes, 0.01%
Green Economy: 555 votes, 0.01%
Chinuch: 516 votes, 0.01%
Social Leadership: 505 votes, 0.01%
Kavod HaAdam: 481 votes, 0.01%
Responsibility for the Founders: 427 votes, 0.01%
Shavim: 401 votes, 0.01%
The Gush Hatanachi: 380 votes, 0.01%
Ani VeAta: 368 votes, 0.01%
Ichud Bnei HaBrit: 265 votes, 0.01%
Brit Olam: 216 votes, 0.01%
Reform Party: 143 votes, 0.01%
Ofek Hadash B’Kavod: 54 votes, 0.01%
Yachad (Announced withdrawal before vote): 25 votes, 0.01%

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