There were a few shifts in the election results on Thursday, as over 200,000 votes, mostly from soldiers, were added to the final tally, confirming Likud’s 30, while United Torah Judaism slipped from 7 to 6, and Meretz rose to 5.
The more than 200,000 votes were cast by IDF soldiers, Israeli diplomatic and other representatives abroad, prisoners, hospital patients and medical staff.
Although United Torah Judaism actually surpassed its vote total in 2013, a seat was lost due to its lower share in the overall number of votes cast, which was more than in 2013. In the last election two years ago, UTJ received 190,813 votes, whereas this time the number was 205,551, an improvement of 7.7 percent.
Israel’s Central Election Committee said that, out of a total of 5,878,362 eligible voters, 4,253,336 participated in Tuesday’s election or 72.3 percent of the electorate. Each mandate was equal to 33,482 votes.
One percent of the total number of votes cast — 43,869 ballots — were disqualified for various irregularities, and some were left blank.
The figures provided were nearly final, though the official tally will not be finalized until March 25, allowing time to appeal the results.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said on Thursday that she would stay on in her post, after the Central Elections Committee announced that the faction had finished with five mandates, and not four, as earlier, partial count had indicated. Galon had said she would resign if Meretz got no more than four seats.