Many Likud party members voted only in the Likud primaries but not in the general elections, according to an analysis of Tuesday’s election results. And the geographical breakdown shows that many Likud members in the settlements of Judea and Samaria voted for Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi and not for their own party.
In the communities of Tekoa, Kiryat Arba, Alon Shvut, Efrat, Ofra, Shilo, Efrat and Beit El, Habayit Hayehudi won outright majorities, despite Likud's focus on the national religious vote in Judea and Samaria, an effort led by MK Ze'ev Elkin.
Figures obtained by The Jerusalem Post who that Shilo in Samaria has 303 Likud members, but only 127 people voted for the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu coalition there. Yitzhar in northern Samaria, which has 93 Likud members, had only 21 Likud-Beytenu votes.
With the election results almost complete, Likud-Beytenu was licking its wounds. The joint list, which won 31 Knesset seats, is trying to project optimism ahead of coalition negotiations expected to begin soon, and because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will in all likelihood continue on to another term in office.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu called a press conference to describe the next government's basic outline. He did not mention the election results.
Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Lieberman agreed to address the joint list's loss of mandates during his party's convention, saying, "It's still too early to analyze what happened. In another week or two we'll make time for analyses and examinations. Factually, there's no question that if we were at 42 mandates and now we're at 31, then it means something happened."
Lieberman declined to discuss campaign guru Arthur Finklestein's role in the election failure.
Meanwhile, senior Likud-Beytenu officials were quick to draw their knives in light of the disappointing number of mandates. Some blamed Netanyahu for taking an aggressive stance against Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett during the campaign. Others argued that Finklestein failed to provide an accurate forecast, similar to his inability to foresee Republican candidate Mitt Romney's failure in the U.S. presidential elections.
An accusatory finger was also pointed at Likud-Beytenu's election day campaign chief Gideon Sa'ar and the party's campaign chief Gilad Erdan. Senior officials from both parties said the campaign was managed in a wasteful manner and had vague messages. They said campaign manager Gil Samsonov had erred by postponing the distribution of campaign banners across the country until the last minute.
However, other Likud-Beytenu officials rejected the accusations, saying, "All those pointing fingers are trying to vent their frustrations from the primary election results by slinging mud, and that's how their criticism should be treated."