TEL AVIV – After almost all the votes had been tallied Wednesday, a clear picture of Israel as a country divided along partisan lines emerged, with Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu representing one half of the map and Blue and White — with the dream of changing the “old guard” that its leader Benny Gantz symbolized for so many — standing in for the other.
In Jerusalem, Likud won an easy victory over Blue and White, taking 24.75% of the vote over the latter’s 11.76%. However, it was the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party that won a sweeping triumph over the capital, bagging a whopping 24% of votes. Aryeh Deri’s Shas party slid into third place with 13.74%.
The southern town of Sderot, which has endured almost two decades of rockets fired from neighboring Gaza, gave Likud 43.52% of its vote. The right-wing secular Yisrael Beytenu took second place with 10.14%.
Netanyahu also beat out rival Gantz in the latter’s own hometown of Rosh Haayin, albeit by a slim margin of 34.85% to Gantz’s 33.91%.
Tel Aviv had the strongest support for Blue and White with 45.76%, while Likud only managed 19.15%. The dovish Meretz party came in third with 9.01%.
The southern population centers of Beersheba and Dimona also strongly favored the Likud, with 43.01% and 56.34% respectively. Blue and White took a distant second, coming in at 12.19% for Dimona and 17.49% for Beersheba.
In Rehovot, the race was tight with Blue and White taking 30.62% of the central city’s vote, with Likud coming in at 28.91%.
Haifa also saw Blue and White victorious, with 32.69%, while Likud trailed behind with 23.67%.