Exit polls: National Religious sector loses up to a third of Knesset seats

The splintered national religious camp lost up to one-third of its parliamentary strength in Tuesday's elections, following a very bitter falling out in the sector before the elections, according to television exit polls. The National Union garnered three Knesset seats in the elections, while the newly formed HaBayit Hayehudi won between three and four seats, the exit polls showed. The tentative results were a major disappointment and deep setback for the national religious sector which together had nine seats in the last Knesset. "This is certainly a failure," said MK Arye Eldad of the National Union. "But it was a failure which we knew in advance." The head of the National Union Yaakov "Katzaleh" Katz, who expressed hopes that the numbers would yet go up, called on Habayit Hayehudi to join forces and form one parliamentary bloc.