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Israeli Polls Close, Exit Polls Released

If accurate, Likud-Beiteinu holds 31 with Yesh Atid second

Adam Chandler
January 22, 2013

Exit poll numbers have been released, which are telling, interesting, totally unofficial and inaccurate numbers from which to divine any solid conclusions about Israel’s election. But that’s not going to stop us from having fun with them. There are two sets so far.

One from Channel 2:

Likud-Beytenu 31; Yesh Atid 19; Labor 17; Shas 12; Jewish Home 12; Meretz 7; Hatnua 7; United Torah Judaism 6; Hadash 4; Ra’am Ta’al 3; Balad 2.

The other from Channel 10:

Likud-Beytenu 31; Yesh Atid 18; Labor 17; Shas 13; Jewish Home 12; Hatnua 6; United Torah Judaism 6; Meretz 6; Hadash 5; Ra’am Ta’al 4; Balad 2.

If these numbers hold–and I’d be willing to wager that more than a few people left their polling stations with Likud on their lips, but other parties in their hearts–Likud-Beiteinu will have suffered an embarrassing drop of over 10 seats from the 18th Knesset. Nevertheless, that most likely won’t stop Netanyahu from forming a right-leaning coalition with a tiny majority in the Knesset. That also means that Netanyahu’s frail coalition might not last long.

I’ve had four cups of coffee and can’t wait for the actual numbers to come out!

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.