The election results have been published, and except for my overly optimistic prediction regarding the Likud, my predictions were pretty much on target (a lot better than the pollsters!).
As to who won - the picture is murky. Yes, Kadima won 28 seats, and is the largest party. But the headaches that Ehud Olmert will have putting together a coalition are significant. First, he needs to convince at least three other parties to join the government, and each will demand their due. In the case of Labor, and the Retired People's Party (yes, folks, we never heard of them before either - but they won a stunning 7 seats in the Knesset) and Shas, this will entail significant outlays of money for social programs (the stock market has already dropped today in reaction to this development).
In terms of dealing with security issues and the peace process, there are headaches also. Adding up the raw numbers, the left wing won 52 seats (that is if you consider Kadima to be left-wing). The right wing won 51 seats. The Retired People's Party are at this point neutral. This means that Olmert will have to sweeten the pot enough for at least one of the right wing parties to agree to his plan of "consolidation" - which is a pretty euphemism for kicking people out of their homes in one part of Judea and Samaria and putting them in another part of Judea and Samaria. Both Shas and UTJ have done this in the past in exchange for money for their programs, and may very well do so again, but the question is at what price.
So, the future of Olmert's plan will probably come down to money - and how deep are the pockets of those who really want the plan to go through. Will the European Union give oodles of money to Israel to kick out settlers? Will the United States? They didn't this past summer when Israel carried out the disengagement - so why should they do so now? Can the Israeli taxpayer afford this? Maybe, maybe not. I certainly wouldn't want to be in the finance minister's shoes in the next year.