Israel’s Central Election Committee announced Tuesday evening the official results of the September 17 election. The final tally resulted in one small adjustment to the numbers circulating in the media for the past week: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud gained a seat at the expense of the ultra-Orthodox faction United Torah Judaism.
The change did not alter the fact that the “Blue and White” party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid is now the largest Knesset faction, though that alone does not guarantee one or both of those men will serve as the next prime minister. President Reuven Rivlin is currently facilitating negotiations between Likud and “Blue and White” on forming a national unity government that would see the heads of both parties rotate as prime minister. At present, the sides have been unable to overcome strong political difference, in particular the role of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the next government.
Whoever heads the next government, what we do now know for certain is that the following is the make-up of the 22nd Knesset:
- Blue & White – 33
- Likud – 32
- Joint Arab List – 13
- Shas – 9
- Yisrael Beiteinu – 8
- Yamina (union of smaller right-wing parties) – 7
- United Torah Judaism – 7
- Labor – 6
- Democratic Union – 5