...after 99% percent of the count one has to take yet another look at the results:
I believe we may be justified in discerning five [blocs] now, rather than just two. The right – Likud and Habait Hayehudi; the religious – Shas and Yahadut Hatora; the center – Lapid, Livni, Mofaz (Kadima); the left – Labor and Meretz; and the so-called Arab parties (which are in some cases more 'Jewish and Arab' than simply Arab).
Why five? Because five blocs paint a clearer and more accurate picture of the way things are headed: the right, the religious and the center are potential Netanyahu coalition partners, the left and the Arab parties not as much (even though both Netanyahu and Lapid still entertain some hope regarding Labor).
At this point in time the two traditional blocs- right-religious and center-left- mean little. The center – or parts of it - is likely to join Netanyahu. The left isn’t likely to do that. But it gives one a sense of the number of voters rejecting the old Netanyahu coalition – voters that might be willing to tolerate the Prime Minister for four more years, if his coalition changes (and remember, this isn’t final, one mandate or two can still change).
Now you can go back to my post from last night and play thecoalition building game with the four options I presented. The Minimum coalition, the Maximum coalition, the Left-leaning coalition and the Plus Haredi coalition. Most likely, the real coalition will be some kind of mix between two options, or maybe even three.
Not 50, as I said last night, but rather 52 new members are likely to serve in the next Knesset – 52 out of 120. Almost half of the Knesset will have to go through on-the-job-training while the more experienced managers of the coalition will be running circles around them...