According to the exit polls, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has succeeded in growing the Likud party with more seats, against all the odds. This is a huge accomplishment since the Israeli legal and media establishment were working against PM Netanyahu the whole campaign. Netanyahu had to deal with the legal establishment opening up three indictments against him right before the elections. In addition, the competing Blue/White party, and the media, pushed forth a fourth legal case against Netanyahu, that was actually closed by the Attorney General. Netanyahu and the Likud did not only not lose seats, but they grew in seats, according to the exit polls. Even though the initial exit polls give the Blue/White party more seats than the Likud, the exit polls show that Netanyahu has a much better chance of putting together a coalition of 61 parliament members. This is a huge accomplishment. He overcame all the odds. This is good news for those of us who were worried that Netanyanu and the Likud would lose big already from the exit polls, and begin the night believing that we lost the experienced and successful leadership of PM Netanyahu.
How Does This Work?
In Israel’s parliamentary system the party leader who is able to put together a parliament of a coalition of at least 61 Parliament members becomes the Prime Minister. According to the exit polls, Netanyahu has 61+ parliament members of right-wing parties and the best chance of putting together the government to continue as Prime Minister. Based on these numbers Netanyahu has already begun talking to other party leaders about entering his coalition. Obviously, the exact results will bring changes to the numbers, but regardless this is a huge success for the Prime Minister. He beat the legal and media establishment that has had a witch hunt against him since he entered public life.
Prime Minister Netanyahu in his first response said to the exit polls: “The right-wing bloc led by the Likud won a clear victory, and I thank the citizens of Israel for their trust. I will begin putting together a coalition of right-wing parties already tonight.”