Netanyahu's Likud party wins election in Israel

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Binyamin Netanyahu
Image: US State Dept.

The right-wing Likud Party won a relative majority in yesterday's elections in Israel. With 30 seats in the Knesset, Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to be able to form the next government as a coalition of right-wing parties after beating out the centre-left alliance, Zionist Union. Netanyahu described the victory as being "against all odds".

Netanyahu stated he intended to form a government as soon as possible: "Reality is not waiting for us[...] The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so."

The turnout in the election was 71.8%, the highest since 1999. While Netanyahu campaigned primarily on the issue of national security (including a promise that if elected, he would not allow the Palestinians to get statehood), many voters have been focussed on domestic matters, such as housing and the growing cost of living, which has remained a live issue since protests in 2011.