While all three of Israel’s major network exit polls show the libertarian-leaning Zehut party failing to enter the next Knesset, party chairman Moshe Feiglin remains optimistic that soldiers’ votes could put Zehut over the top.
The three major exit polls released Tuesday night following the end of voting in Israel’s 21st general election all show Zehut failing to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold, leaving the new faction out of the next Knesset.
Nevertheless, Feiglin, a former Likud MK, said it was too early to count Zehut out, arguing that votes from IDF soldiers could push the party over the top – and into the 21st Knesset.
“No one knows yet, the mandates are only with the soldiers,” Feiglin said, according to Maariv. “We know one thing, Zehut’s entry into the Knesset could be blocked due to a single polling place not having [our] people [to monitor],” suggesting that the party may have lost votes as a result of electoral fraud or other underhanded tactics by rival parties.
Feiglin also expressed optimism, despite the exit poll numbers, saying “we will get in; hold on until the end.”
The exit polls showing Zehut failing to cross the electoral threshold came as a surprise to party activists, after polls consistently showed the faction entering the Knesset.
With an estimated 4.4 million voters taking part in Tuesday's election, the 3.25% electoral threshold translates into roughly 143,000-144,000 votes necessary to enter the Knesset.