Kadima passed the election threshold, Bayit Yehudi went up a seat, and UAL-Ta’al dropped one after the “double envelope” votes were counted on Thursday, giving the rightwing bloc 61 seats and the Center- Left 59.

Meanwhile, a Jerusalem Post/Smith Research poll suggested that Yesh Atid’s surprise jump to 19 seats from a predicted 11 came from the many undecided voters who made up their minds in the final days before the election.



Bayit Yehudi now has 12 seats, and is the fourth-largest party in the Knesset, while United Arab List-Ta’al dropped from five to four. Kadima will have two seats in the 19th Knesset.

The final result of the election: Likud Beytenu, with 31 seats, Yesh Atid 19, Labor 15, Bayit Yehudi 12, Shas 11, United Torah Judaism 7, The Tzipi Livni Party 6, Meretz 6, UALTa’al 4, Hadash 4, Balad 3 and Kadima 2.

Each seat in the Knesset is worth 29,364 votes and the election threshold was 75,864.

The number of people who voted in Tuesday’s election is 3,834,136, and 7 percent of them chose parties that did not pass the 2% threshold.

The “double-envelope” votes – from soldiers, prisoners, hospital patients, polling station personnel and diplomats overseas – were 24% for Likud Beytenu, 16% for Yesh Atid, 15% Bayit Yehudi and 10% Labor. Kadima received 2.2% of the votes counted on Thursday, and the Green Leaf party, which received 1.15% of the total votes, received 3.9% of the “double-envelope” votes.

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Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz thanked his supporters at an event at party headquarters in Petah Tikva on Thursday evening, saying “we accept and respect the democratic decision and result, and we will do the best we can for the State of Israel.”

According to Mofaz, his party represents the “sane, moderate Israeli Center that serves [in the army], works and pays taxes.”

The Kadima leader added that his party will grow and become stronger and more united, just as the Center bloc did in the election, and that he supports equality in the burden of service, changing the system of government, peace talks and lowering the cost of living for the middle class.

Shuli Muallem, No. 12 on the Bayit Yehudi candidates list, learned that she would become an MK on Thursday morning, and was happy that it was because of soldiers’ votes.

Muallem, who will need to resign from her post as chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization when she enters the Knesset, was widowed when her husband, the Golani Brigade’s Lt.-Col. Moshe Muallem, was killed along with 72 other soldiers in the 1997 IAF Helicopter Disaster, in which two Yasur helicopters collided over Moshav She’ar Yashuv while waiting to enter Lebanon.

“This is very emotional for me. I served in the IDF, and have had a continual connection from age 22, when I married a military man,” Muallem explained. “The circle of my life has to do with soldiers, and now in the Knesset, I will be their representative and the representative of their parents, and of anyone fighting for equality in the burden of service.”

Muallem expressed satisfaction and excitement that her work over the past few months, in the Bayit Yehudi primary and election campaign, would come to fruition with her serving in the Knesset.

MK Taleb a-Sanaa (UAL-Ta’al) is fifth on his party’s list and will no longer be a lawmaker after serving in the Knesset for more than 20 years. Newcomer Taleb Abu Arar is in the party’s fourth slot. Sanaa was not available for comment.

The Central Elections Committee finished counting the 200,000+ “double envelope” votes on Thursday morning, painting a nearly complete picture of what the 19th Knesset will look like.

These ballots are called “double envelope” because many of the voters are listed in their army base or hospital, as well as in their hometown, and it takes longer to count them, because the Central Elections Committee must check to make sure they did not vote twice. There could still be a minor change by the time the final results are released next Thursday, because of surplus- vote agreements between parties.

Also on Thursday, pollster Rafi Smith released findings indicating that 35% of Yesh Atid voters made their decision on Election Day, and 18% made their choice two to three days before the election. In other words, more than half of Yesh Atid’s voters chose the party in the three days before the election.

Two-thirds of Likud Beytenu voters made their decision more than two months ago, as opposed to 26% of Yesh Atid supporters and 53% of those who chose Bayit Yehudi.

Kadima got a boost on the final days before the election, when 41% of its voters chose the party.

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