Israeli Elections: the Fear Factor
Uri Gordon, Political Insight Blog, March 19, 2015
Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprise victory in Tuesday’s Israeli parliamentary elections has ensured the Prime Minister a fourth term. With 30 seats – a quarter of the Knesset – his Likud party outperformed the latest opinion polls by over 30%. Not since 1981 has a ruling party seen such growth between elections. Even the exit polls failed to detect its full 6-point gap from the leading opposition party, the Zionist Alliance (an amalgamation of Labour and Tzipi Livni’s party HaTnu’ah) – now decidedly heading for the opposition. Netanyahu can now comfortably form a right-wing coalition with the secular hard-right Yisrael Beitenu, the religious hard-right Jewish Home, the two ultra-Orthodox parties, and Kulanu – a welfarist breakoff from Likud.