Tel Aviv (Jun. 30)
The Israeli election returns as of midnight, two hours after the polls closed, indicated that the Labor Party would win 50-51 seats in the next Knesset to 47 for Likud. According to analysts, this is still insufficient for Labor to form a coalition government but neither can Likud do so at this point. The Labor gains seemed to be from the Arab sector at the expense of the Communist Party. Geula Cohen’s ultranationalist Tehiya faction is given three seats, up one from the earlier computer projections. Voting was sluggish during most of the day, with hot, sunny weather sending throngs to the beaches and picnic grounds. By dusk, only 60 percent of the electorate had cast ballots. But the voting picked up later and the turnout was reported to be close to 80 percent when the polls closed at 10 p.m.