On the day after, Likud MKs and activists are nursing their wounds and trying to analyze why their party did not do as well as expected. By all accounts, political experts said, the Likud's victory in the elections was a great disappointment – especially given the fact that between the two factions making up the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, the 31 MKs that will represent both parties is 11 fewer than they had in the previous Knesset.
Speaking Thursday, Likud MK Reuven Rivlin – who may not be named Knesset speaker when the plenum reconvenes for its 19th session – said that the voters had given the Likud a “warning card. We must understand these results and work to absorb the lessons they represent,” he said.
Likud activists and MKs had mixed feelings about the results. Speaking to Arutz Sheva on election night, Danny Dayan, the former head of the Council of Judea and Samaria, who quit his post to campaign on behalf of the Likud, said “we are happy that Binyamin Netanyahu will continue as Prime Minister.” Another positive result: “We are happy that between the two of them, Tzipi Livni and Meretz got only 12 seats, barely 10% of the vote.” The two parties were the only ones actively promoting negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and the fact that they fared so poorly “shows that the vast majority of the country rejects the partition of the country.”
On the other hand, Dayan said he was worried about the stability of the coalition, because of the relatively strength of Yesh Atid and the relative weakness of the Likud. “I am afraid we will have a fragile coalition and will have to go for elections in two years or so.”
Likud MK Danny Danon was more positive. “We deserved more seats,” Danon told Arutz Sheva. “But the important message is that Binyamin Netanyahu will remain as Prime Minister. I told my friends on the left that they shouldn't be too quick to celebrate, because Shelly Yechimovich will not be Prime Minister.”
Also looking at the situation positively was Likud activist Gideon Ariel. “The dust is far from settled, but what we are seeing is not an almost equal split between left and right. If you look at the party platforms you will see that the left has about 48 seats, with the rest center and right.” According to Ariel, with a little effort Netanyahu can put together a “comfortable” coalition, and establish a government that will run for its full term.