A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Results by City

As the official results come in, Haaretz now has a neat table which, in addition to showing the totals by party, has a selector that allows you to see the results "By City" or "By Sector" (size of town, etc.) For those of you who know Israel, toggle around in it a bit; it's interesting to see the regional contrasts: Tel Aviv going heavily for Kadima; Jerusalem for the religious parties and Likud; Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm (the two biggest Arab cities) going solidly for Hadash (Communists) and the Arab parties but Bedouin communities going United Arab List instead of Hadash. Ariel (big settlement in the West Bank) is going for the rightist parties, no surprise there. A quick impression is that while the results are predictable, they emphasize the remarkable geographical/political diversity of Israeli opinion. Or perhaps the right word isn't diversity: it's geographically pretty polarized. Tel Aviv doesn't think like Jerusalem; the coastal plain doesn't think like the settlements. Of course, we knew that already. In Eilat there are topless beaches; in Mea Shearim you might be stoned for wearing shorts or driving on the Sabbath. Nothing too surprising in the results, but it's a fun table to play with.

And with 98% of the vote in, Kadima 28 seats, Likud 27. This is about as close as it gets. Clearly, with the two parties so close, Netanyahu will push to be given the first try, since the right overall has done better than the center/left overall. But Livni has tradition on her side: the party with the most seats historically gets first try. See my Backgrounder from earlier this evening for the process.

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