Kadima Wins Israeli Elections (Developing)

Breaking from CNN: “The new Kadima party is projected to win most seats in the Israeli election, according to Israeli TV exit polls.”

AP adds:

Projections by Israel’s three main TV stations showed acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s centrist Kadima Party winning Tuesday’s election but getting fewer seats than expected. The center-left Labor Party, a likely coalition partner for Olmert, came in a strong second. The hard-line Likud, which dominated Israeli politics for three decades and opposes Olmert’s plan to withdraw from much of the West Bank, came in a distant third, according to polls broadcast immediately after voting ended.

According to the TV projections, Kadima would win 29-32 seats in the 120-member parliament, Labor 20-22 seats and Likud 11-12 seats. If confirmed by final results, the projections mean Olmert could likely form a center-left coalition to carry out his plan of drawing Israel’s final borders by 2010.

Vital Perspective is live blogging the Israeli TV returns.

Stephen Green admits, “I’m happy to say I was wrong about Kadima last year.”

To the extent I predicted anything, I got it right: “Who would have thought, when he helped launch the second Intifada with his stunt at the Temple Mount five years ago, that Sharon would wind up in Israel’s political center? That he and Peres would form a political party would certainly have been inconceivable.”

Then again, I blogged that Sharon was dead a few weeks later.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.