Everyone missed out on the big surprise of the election – Kadima passing the Likud and becoming the biggest party again. The reason is simple: a new law prevents publishing polls in the last 4 days before an election. In the days leading to the elections, there was a significant move of voters from left-wing parties to Kadima, probably in order to stop Netanyahu. Meretz and Labor lost 3-4 MKs to Kadima in the 72 hours prior to the elections.
If you check out the last table I posted before the elections, you’ll see that the latest polls (on the right side of the table) actually caught the beginning of the voters’ move to Kadima. But the average was affected from polls conducted earlier, which gave Kadima much lower results.
The same thing, but on a smaller scale, happened on the right: A last minute effort by Netanyahu managed to stop “Israel Beitenu” strengthening, and “bring home” some Likud voters who were thinking of voting to Liberman’s party. Liberman has also lost 1-2 seats to Shas, who started a last-minute negative campaign against him in the last 48 hours before the election.
As always, Shas did better than expected. I don’t remember an election when it didn’t happen.
The pollsters are having difficulties with the Arab parties. They all showed Balad close to not passing the 2 percent minimum threshold. As it turned out, Balad got in easily.