According to the various polls published today in a number of papers (Haaretz has a preview of its poll here), Netanyahu will be our next prime minister. Actually, this has been the picture for a while now, but the numbers are growing more solid.
I'll talk about that some other time. What I'd like to point out here is that Labor, according to the latest polls, is losing support even faster than those Somali folks are hijacking ships. As Haaretz correctly notes, this may be the last elections in which the party runs. Lest you think this is something to shrug off, I remind you that Labor is the party that created the State of Israel, and dominated its politics from the inception of elections in Mandatory Palestine, in the 1920s, uninterrupted until 1977, and remained a major force until 2001. On a political level, one can say "No Labor Party (or Mapai, or Maarach, or whatever other name it went by), no State of Israel". Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Levy Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yizchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and, yes, Ehud Barak - these are merely the Mapai figures who reached the top; Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon, Pinchas Sapir, Abba Eban and many other famous figures were also Laborites.
The English Liberal Party disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century, but I can't think of any other examples of such a thing happening.
Equally interesting, Labor is dying so that Kadima may live. This, frankly, is wierd. Kadima was invented by Arik Sharon (along with Haim Ramon, Tzipi Livni and some others) in 2005 as the new political center. When Sharon disappeared many expected Kadima likewise to disappear, and that it didn't was a sign of the thirst for the center. Still, there has always been the assumption that Kadima is a provisional party, a one-timer, one that could simply evaporate. In the present campaign, if we're honest with ourselves, Kadima is edging leftwards, and is more center-left than purely center. This leaves no room for labor - but it contradicts what everyone thought would happen, or said they thought, or thought they said, or whatever.
I'm not explaining, merely observing.