The preliminary results just came on the news. 32 seats for Kadima, 22 for Labor, 13 for Yisrael Beitenu, 11 for the Likud, 10 for Shas. The rest is divided among the smaller parties. This means several things. First of all, the loss of Sharon clearly put a bad dent in Kadima. They could have had ten more seats if he had been the party leader. Second, Amir Peretz is going to be a major factor in the next government. He’ll get the Interior Ministry, almost for certain. Israel is heading socialist as far as domestic policies are concerned. Third, the “right bloc” that Netanyahu was hoping for with Yisrael Beitenu is not going to happen. Fourth, Netanyahu is finished. Stick a fork in him, he’s done. And it’s all his own damn fault. Fifth, the next government will probably be Kadima-Labor-Shas, barring unforeseen developments, which are more than likely in a country like this. Sixth, unilateral withdrawals will continue. Labor is naturally dovish and Kadima has already stated its support of withdrawals from parts of the West Bank.
Biggest surprise? Besides the collapse of the Likud, it has to be Gimlaim, a party dedicated solely to senior’s issues, which got an amazing 6 seats. Pensions will shortly be going up.