Right bloc rises to 64 as real results come in
You will recall that in the Liveblog, I dismissed Livnat's claim that the Likud will get two more seats as wishful thinking. But as of 2:00 am, with about 57% of the actual votes counted, the Likud has risen to 33 seats. Jewish Home has dropped to 11.
That's a net gain of one for the Right. But what's even more shocking is where the other two seats came from that brought it from 61 to 64. As of 2:00 am, United Torah Judaism, the party of the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews, is up to 8 seats.
Labor has dropped to 16 and Meretz has dropped to 5.
If these results hold up, Netanyahu does have an option for a coalition without Lapid, without Livni and without Shelly.
And the radio made a point of letting us know this evening that while Lapid may have been Netanyahu's first call, Netanyahu also spoke to two of Shas' leadership triumvirate (Eli Yishai and Aryeh Deri) and that Netanyahu will be meeting with Yishai on Thursday. And Netanyahu also spoke to UTJ's Yaakov Litzman. And Yishai assured Shas' voters this evening that Shas will be part of any coalition.
Of course, it could still end up being Lapid rather than Bennett with Shas and UTJ if Lapid would agree to that. Lapid can really sit on either side of the aisle, and his concerns are mostly domestic.
UPDATE 2:42 AM
I should add that this might not hold up.
Kadima is now over the minimum and if that holds (it's expected to) they will get two seats.
One of the Arab parties is below the threshold right now but is expected to make it above the threshold and those seats will come at someone's expense. Whose expense remains to be seen.