Soldiers' Vote May Swing the Elections to a Tie
Voters gave Kadima 28 mandates in the next Knesset, one more than Likud, with almost all of Tuesday's ballots counted but not including votes of diplomats and soldiers, whose votes will be counted on Wednesday and Thursday.
Their ballots are equal to five mandates. Following is the current number of estimated MKs for each party following the counting of 99% of the available votes: Kadima 28 Likud 27 Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) 14 Labor 13 Shas 11 United Torah Judaism (UTJ) 5 Ichud Leumi (National Union) 4 Jewish Home 3 Meretz 3 Arab parties 12 The votes of... snip
The votes of the armed forces usually tilt to the nationalist and religious parties, and are likely to create at least a tie and may even put Likud in the lead. The votes of diplomats overseas and soldiers changed the results in the last election by taking one Knesset seat away from Kadima. The number of Arab MKs also will likely be reduced after the soldiers' ballots are counted.
Kadima, headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, pulled ahead of the Likud by one MK, in a surprise finish. The biggest losers are the Meretz and Labor parties, while Arab parties are currently projected to place three more legislators in the Knesset than they currently have.