The answer, might lie somewhere in the breakdown of how Israelis voted across the country:
1) The Tel Aviv bubble
There’s a reason why Israelis sometimes view Tel Aviv residents as living inside a bubble. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc prepares to return to the leadership for another term, it appears that most of those living in the sun-kissed city of liberal ideas and secularism gave their support to the center-left Zionist Union and not a small amount to the dovish Meretz party.
2) Zionist Union attracted wealthy supporters
The Zionist Union, which campaigned on a platform of social and economic reform and promises to reduce the high cost of living, drew the bulk of its support from Israel’s wealthier citizens. Haaretz reported Thursday that the majority of Zionist Union voters live in 28 of the country’s 33 wealthiest town,
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics rates each community based on a wide list of social economic variables. There are only three towns in the top percentile of wealth and the Zionist Union got its highest rate of support in one of them.
3) Likud attracted the working class
Residents in Israel’s peripheral, working class and poorer towns and cities voted in great numbers for Likud, allowing Netanyahu to pull a resounding victory over the Zionist Union in Tuesday’s election. Think Joe Six Pack, but in Hebrew. They came out in large numbers.
4) Netanyahu attracted the settlers
Netanyahu’s victory appears to be the greatest among the 165,718 settlers living in the occupied West Bank who voted. The prime minister paid special attention to the settlers during his campaign, warning leaders in the last few days that if he lost the election, they should probably start packing.
It seems they heeded the warning because Likud’s support in the settlements increased, even though the results were split fairly equally between Likud and religious nationalist party The Jewish Home.
5) The religious won in the holy city
While Likud was the party with the largest number of ballots in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, the religious and ultra-Orthodox parties combined drew the most votes.
Out of the 335,116 votes cast, Likud lead with 24 percent but the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism received 21 percent, Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party Shas – whose campaign was based on its spiritual leader’s message from beyond the grave – and its spin-off party Yahad, gained 12 percent and 7 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the religious nationalist Jewish Home party also pulled in 8 percent.
Essentially, it was God who won in the holy city.