(April 9, 2019 / JNS) Just prior to exit polls being published in Israel, Likud members cautiously expressed optimism about the final results in Tuesday’s elections.
“We worked very hard today,” Yoav Kish told JNS. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
He said that the exit polls won’t be accurate because “they don’t take into consideration the last two to three hours of polling.”
Tzofiya Nahon, who is the 66th person on the Likud list, told JNS that turnout “does not look good for us, for everyone, actually.”
“A lot of people didn’t go out to vote,” she added, saying that “a right-wing cabinet” is needed.
Other members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party also expressed concern over turnout.
Reports of low voter turnout appear to be a political ploy by the Likud, Blue and White, United Torah Judaism and New Right parties.
“We have to save the right. There’s only a few more hours. Go out and vote, otherwise we get a leftist government,” tweeted Netanyahu of Likud.
“Our numbers are good, but not good enough,” said Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. “We have to work harder.”
Exit polls suggest Netanyahu and Gantz virtually tied with some show the New Right, Zehut, Gesher and Ra’am-Balad parties not making the 3.25 percent threshold to make it into the next government.
Nonetheless, Netanyahu declared victory.
“The right-wing bloc led by the Likud won a clear victory. I thank the citizens of Israel for your trust. I will start assembling a right-wing government with our natural partners already this evening,” he tweeted.
“We know the next prime minister of Israel will be Netanyahu,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely told JNS. “At the moment, he is creating his next coalition.”
Sharren Haskel, Likud’s youngest member, told JNS that “It’s definitely a victory.”
“Our group of the coalition of the right-wing [parties] grew as well, so it shored more secure and more trust that they are giving to us, so yes, it is definitely a win,” she said.
JNS Washington, D.C., correspondent Jackson Richman contributed to this story.