“This is not the result that will put Israel back on the right path,” says Blue and White leader Benny Gantz after release of exit polls • Labor head Amir Peretz blames Gantz’s “irresponsible campaign” for “damaging the left-wing bloc.”
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz told supporters in Tel Aviv on Monday night that he shared their “pain and disappointment” as exit polls indicated a convincing win for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
Initial exit polls showed Blue and White with between 32 to 34 seats and Likud with 37 seats in Knesset, totaling 52 to 54 for the center-left bloc and 60 for the right-wing bloc.
“I believe that when the final results come in, we will see that we continue to grow,” Gantz said at the Blue and White headquarters, adding, “I share with you the sense of pain and disappointment because this is not the result that will put Israel back on the right path.”
As Gantz commiserated with his supporters, Labor Party head Amir Peretz blamed the Blue and White leader for the disappointing election result.
“We did everything with the future of Israel in mind,” said Peretz, whose alliance with the Meretz and Gesher parties is predicted to win six to seven seats. “We backed Gantz and it was at those crucial times that his party’s irresponsible campaign started to damage the left-wing bloc,” he said, adding, “I will continue to be responsible and hold my position as the responsible adult of the peace camp.”
These are the latest results of Monday’s election:
Likud: 36 (1,206,692 votes, 29.35%)
Blue and White: 32 (1,082,970 votes, 26.34%)
The Joint List: 15 (530,978 votes, 12.91%)
Shas: 10 (320,246 votes, 7.79%)
UTJ: 7 (254,945 votes, 6.20%)
Yisrael Beytenu: 7 (241,322 votes, 5.87%)
Labor-Gesher-Meretz: 7 (234,933 votes, 5.71%)
Yamina: 6 (207,737 votes, 5.05%)