Lapid is up to 19!
Labour is down to 15. And it is now officially one of the losers of this election. Shelly Yachimovich is one of the disappointments, if those numbers hold. Some people looked at her position on the Palestinians and voted Meretz.. Others on the moderate right, looking at the loonies in the Likud list, preferred Lapid to her.
Shas will sit with Netanyahu and Lapid. So will the United Torah list. Bennett may be outside the coalition. That's up to Lapid. A center right coalition will be a boon to Bibi on the international front. But Bibi won't be able to put his economic policies into place.
The "consistent left" is up to 18 seats. Ram Tal has 5 seats! Another winner.
Some thoughts about the winners and losers from the Israeli Knesset election projections.
Biggest Losers: Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, hand's down. Bibi didn't need this election. And now he got hit in the face by the social protests of two summers ago and general dissatisfaction with the old guard. He saw the Likud shrink. And he is going to have a heckuva time putting together a coalition. What was he thinking when he dissolved parliament? What bubble does he live in? And is his advisor Arthur Finkelstein the new Karl Rove?
Biggest Winner: Yair Lapid, who is now projected to have the second largest party in the Knesset. He is anti-haredi, pro middle class, against the cartels and tycoons and the flavor of the month. Just as his father's party, Shinuy, was the first time Bibi was prime minister.
Other winners include:
Shelly Yachimovich, who saw her Labor party go from 8 to 17. She may have lost a few seats to Meretz by pretending that the Palestinians are not a pressing issue. But look at what she gained by jumping on the social-protest bandwagon.
The post-Oslo generation. This was the election that threw a lot of old bums out and voted a lot of young bums, and not such bums, in. That includes Naftali Bennett, and a lot of new faces. Even the older faces like Shelly Yachimovich (Labour) and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) are not so old.
The consistent left and the consistent right.
Other losers include:
The Palestinians: Don't believe the spin you will hear that the center-left did really well. The Palestinian issue was not on the ballot; the majority of the country voted on economic and social issues. Most of the Israeli public could care less about peace and could care less about the Palestinians. And why should they? There is no terrorism, and they don't even see the Palestinians who are behind walls or living in Gaza.
The ultra-orthodox parties. They didn't like Tommy Lapid. They sure aren't going to like his son, Yair.