A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 9, 2009--Elections Start in Hours
The elections in Israel are hours away. The sense at this moment is that there is some momentum for Livni. It seems to be coming from two sources... first, the drop in mandates expected for Likud is convincing many of the members left of the center to move from whatever party they were thinking of to Kadima. Now that it seems possible Kadima could have more votes than Likud, Livni now seems to be getting support from all those who want to stop Bibi. It also seems Livni's appeal to women may also be working.
According to observers there has been a great deal of tension in the Likud, with a feeling that an easy victory may have been given away. Today, Barak made it official that he has no chance to win the election, he stated that if people want him to be Defense Minister they had better make sure labor gets at least 20 seats in the next Knesset. Labor's support seems to be evaporating. What is still clear is that the parties on the right are likely to receive more seats than those on the left. Thus, even if Kadima receives more votes than the Likud, she will have a difficult time putting together a coalition. The first election results will be available at 3PM EST tomorrow. I will try to have an update up within minutes of the results. Analysis later.