Benny Gantz, chairman of the Israel Resilience Party, blows a kiss to the crowd at an event launching his campaign, January 29th, 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Blue and White won the election on Tuesday with 47% of the vote at Ramat Gan’s Blich High School, which has become legendary for predicting the results of elections.
Likud came in second place in the high school’s vote, trailing far behind the winner with only 21%.
The only other parties to pass the electoral threshold were Meretz with 10%, Kulanu with 7% and Zehut with 5%, which does not pass the threshold in the vast majority of polls published by the media.
Haredi parties Shas and UTJ received no votes from Blich’s student body. The Joint List, which no longer exists and is now running as two separate Arab blocs, received 1%.
Blich’s reputation for being a harbinger of election results comes from it accurately predicting the “revolution” of 1977, in which Menachem Begin and the Likud won for the first time after 29 years of Labor dominance, and of Yitzhak Rabin’s rise to the premiership in 1992.
However, the high school may have lost its touch in recent years. In 2015, it predicted that Zionist Union would win with 32% of the vote, followed by Yesh Atid with 28%. In reality, Likud came in first by a significant margin, followed by Zionist Union and then the Joint List. The vote reflected that of the neighborhood in which Blich is situated, where the local polling place gave Zionist Union 46.6% of the vote and Yesh Atid 14.5%.
Yesh Atid won Blich in 2013, even though Likud won that election, but they did correctly predict the new party’s meteoric rise, in that it received 19 seats.
Still, Blich’s reputation drew big political names to the high school on Wednesday.
Blue and White contender and former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi spoke to the students, saying he entered politics “to serve; to ensure a better future for the State of Israel. We in the leadership of Blue and White put the kingdom before the crown. We put our egos aside, and we came to work and serve you… to take care of the future generation of the State of Israel.”
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said his Kulanu Party is “the insurance policy for young people.
“What Kulanu did for young people in the past four years hadn’t been done for 40 years here, because they didn’t care,” Kahlon said, listing raising soldiers’ wages, a free degree after military service and an opportunity for young couples to buy homes as his achievements.
Labor leader Avi Gabbay, whose party only received 3% of the vote in Blich, called the proceedings “a celebration of democracy,” and said the students are “wonderful young people who remember how to dream about a better future.”
Likud Foreign Affairs director Eli Hazan tweeted the results with the comment that Blue and White leaders “[Yair] Lapid and Gantz won in Blich and that says everything,” implying that the school generally votes for the Left.
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