Exit Polls Indicate Barak Landslide

(May 17, 1999)

One Israel leader Ehud Barak defeated incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the race for prime minister by a landslide margin of 14 to 17 percentage points — one of the worst defeats in modern Israeli political history — according to exit polls run by both state-run television stations, the results of which were announced at 10 p.m. Israel time.

Channel 1 gave Barak the widest winning margin: 58.5 percent over 41.5%. Channel 2 gave the winning margin at 57% to 43%.

At about 10:30 p.m. Israel time, Netanyahu conceded defeat and congratulated Barak. He also announced that he was quiting his post as Likud party leader.

Exit polls suggest the Knesset will once again be fragmented, with at least 11 parties expected to win seats and neither of the major parties likely to win more than 30% of the 120 at stake.

  • One Israel 33 seats

  • Likud 18 seats

  • Shas 15 seats

  • Meretz 10 seats

  • Shinui 6 seats

  • Yisrael Ba'aliyah 6 seats

  • The Center Party 5 seats

  • National Religious Party 5 seats

  • United Torah Judaism 4 seats

  • Pnina Rosenbloom Party 2 seats

  • Yisrael Beiteinu 2 seats

Source: Jerusalem Post, (May 17, 1999).