With 97.4 percent of votes counted, an electoral map of a country divided along political lines emerged Wednesday morning, with the voting patterns of Israel’s two main cities in sharp contrast to one another.
Tel Aviv, Israel’s financial center, had a very strong showing for Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party at 45.76%, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud taking 19.15%, and left-wing Meretz taking third place in the coastal city with 9.01%. Moshe Feiglin’s far-right pro-cannabis Zehut party took 2.01% of the Tel Aviv ballots.
In Jerusalem, Likud came out top, taking 24.76% of the city’s votes, United Torah Judaism came in second with 23.16%, and Aryeh Deri’s Shas party took third place with 13.73%. Blue and White only garnered 11.76% of the votes cast in the capital.
Gantz’s hometown of Rosh Ha’ayin was narrowly won by Likud, which took 34.85% of the vote, with Blue and White coming in second with 33.91%. Shas took third place with 6.06% and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu came in fourth with 5.43%.
Likud bastion Dimona remained loyal to Netanyahu, giving him 56.34%, with Blue and White far behind in second place with only 12.19% of the vote.
In Rehovot, which was for years seen as a barometer of national elections, Blue and White took 30.62%, with Likud a close second at 28.91% and Shas third with 5.33%.
Sderot, which has endured years of rockets fired from Gaza, had a strong showing for Likud, with the party taking 43.52% of the vote, while secular Yisrael Beytenu, headed by former defense minister Avigdor Liberman who resigned in protest at the government’s policies over Gaza, came in second place with 10.14%.
Naftali Bennett, co-leader of the New Right party, had a disappointing showing in his hometown of Ra’anana, which came out strongly in favor of the Blue and White party and gave it 43.53% of the vote. Likud came in second in the central town, with 23.36%, and New Right trailed in third place with only 6.74%.
Beersheba, Israel’s main southern city, gave Likud a clear lead with 43.01%. Blue and White was far behind with only 17.49% and Yisrael Beytenu in third place with 9.5%.
In contrast, northern Haifa went to Blue and White with 32.69%, ahead of Likud at 23.67% and Yisrael Beytenu at 7.3%.