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by Calling Out Community, Posted Going into Israel’s national general March 17, 2015, election exit polls put Likud (the party led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and Isaac Herzog and his Zionist Union neck and neck, with a predicted 27 seats each after that Tuesday’s election.
The Telegraph went even further in its prediction of gloom, reporting on March 14:
Benjamin Netanyahu, three times prime minister of Israel, deliberately triggered an early election – but polls show his gamble may have backfired.
Ahead of this Tuesday’s general election, the prime minister was so worried about his plunging popularity that his aides tried to stop the media from attending what should have been an ideal photo opportunity.
With opinion polls showing Likud falling further behind the Left-wing Zionist Union, Mr Netanyahu apparently feared being accosted by voters angry about Israel’s spiralling cost of living. He may have been right to fret.
Likud: 22 seats
Zionist Union: 26 seats
Just 4 days later, on March 18, the Telegraph was forced to report, with headline “Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates surprise electoral landslide in Israel“:
Israel premier upsets polls predictions to score come-from-behind victory that leaves him poised to form new Right-wing government
Benjamin Netanyahu was celebrating a surprise electoral landslide on Wednesday after results from Israel’s general election showed his Likud party scoring a decisive win over centre-Left opponents. (Emphasis mine)
Likud: 30 seats (22 predicted)
Zionist Union: 26 seats (24 predicted)
Yet, not everyone thought it was such a surprise. At least one Canadian newspaper editorialized:
After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected, and his Likud Party got more people elected than it had before, thousands of pollsters and millions of people around the world were left scratching their heads at the unexpected result.
Taking into consideration what the numbers were before the election and shifts from one poll to another went from party to party of the same block, anybody with a little bit of Israeli electoral knowledge knew there was no way Netanyahu could lose this election.
The question wasn’t if, but how strong he or his rivals from the right would be in the coalition. The left never had a chance. (Emphasis mine)