Israeli Elections 2013- Final Results

The soldiers’ votes have finally been counted and the final results of the elections have arrived.

3,833,816 Israelis voted in the elections, which is 67.06% of the eligible voters, a relatively high turnout. 40,910 votes were invalid.

12 parties made it past the 2% threshold.

The final count is as follows:

Party Number of votes Percentage of votes Seats Seats gained/lost
Likud+ Yisrael Beitenu (Netanyahu+ Lieberman) 880,631 23.32 31 (20+11) -11 (-8, -4)
Yesh Atid (Lapid) 543,227 14.32 19 +19
Labor (Yachimovitch) 432,083 11.39 15 +2
Jewish Home (Bennet) 345,935 9.12 12 +7
Shas (Sephardic Ultra-Orthodox) 331,783 8.75 11 0
Yahadut Hatorah (Ashkenazi Ultra-Orthodox) 199,038 5.17 7 +2
The Movement (Tzipi Livni) 189,140 4.99 6 +6
Meretz (Zehava Gal’on, Far Left) 172,382 4.54 6 +3
Raam-Taal (Arab party) 138,362 3.65 4 0
Hadash (Arab Communist party) 113,610 3.00 4 0
Balad (Arab nationalist party) 96,926 2.56 3 0
Kadima (Shaul Mofaz) 79,487 2.10 2 -26
Strong Israel (Arie Eldad, Far Right) 66,834 1.76 0 -2
Am Shalem (Rabbi Haim Amsalem) 45,685 1.20 0
Ale Yarok (for cannabis legalization) 43,719 1.15 0
Koach Lehashpia (Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak) 28,082 0.74 0
Eretz Hadasha (Eldad Yaniv) 28,046 0.74 0
The Israelis (proxy party of Tzipi Livni for Russian immigrants) 18,970 0.50 0
Young Greens 8,188 0.22 0
Pensioners’ party 6,027 0.16 0
Haim Bechavod (“Life with dignity) 3,639 0.10 0
Da’am (mixed Jewish-Arab workers party) 3,550 0.09 0
Achim Anachnu (“we are brothers”, Ethiopian immigrants’ party) 2,900 0.08 0
Social Justice 2,877 0.08 0
Pirate’s party (against copyright laws) 2,326 0.06 0
Kulanu Haverim (Rabbi Nachman cult) 2,179 0.06 0
Kalkala (Yulia Shamalov Berkovitch) 1,972 0.05 0
Progressive Liberal 1,568 0.04 0
Orr (for separation of religion and state) 1,026 0.03 0
Brit Olam (party leader claims he was spoken to by God) 761 0.02 0
The Hope for Change (new Arab party) 650 0.02 0
Moreshet Avot 461 0.01 0

Netanyahu and Lapid have already begun negotiations over forming a coalition. Netanyahu has also approached the Ultra-Orthodox parties.

Why did the counting of the votes take so long?

Israel still uses paper ballots. So far, attempts to use computers have not ended well (see for instance the fiasco at the Likud primaries). Voting entails placing a note with the name of a party in an unmarked envelope and then putting the envelope in a box.

Performing my democratic duty...

Fulfilling my democratic duty…

At the end of the day, the poll committee empties the box, takes all the notes out of the envelopes and counts them. They then transport the box with all the counted votes to the central election committee in order to register their votes. This is a relatively quick process, which takes no more than a few hours (although poll committee members stood in line half the night waiting to register their votes).

Because the elections are not computerized, regular citizens must vote at a specific polling station near their registered address and may not vote elsewhere. When they come to vote, they are checked off a list, in order to insure that they do not vote more than once. However, soldiers, prisoners and people in hospitals have the option of voting in a special polling station in their bases, prisons or hospitals. Their unmarked envelopes are then placed in a second envelope which has their personal information on it. The central election committee must then cross check all the soldiers’ votes against the regular lists of voters in order to insure that they did not vote at home as well. Only then their votes can be counted.

The soldiers’ votes make up only 0.2 percent of the voters, but their votes gave the Jewish Home its 12th seat, and took away one seat from Raam-Taal.

Some possible combinations between the parties

A coalition must include more than 50% of the Knesset, at least 61 MKs.

  • Likud + Yisrael Beiteinu + Yair Lapid + Jewish Home = 62
  • Likud + Yisrael Beiteinu + Yair Lapid + Tzipi Livni + Labor + Kadima = 73
  • Likud + Yisrael Beiteinu + Shas + Yahadut Hatorah + Jewish Home = 61
  • Likud + Yisrael Beiteinu + Shas + Yahadut Hatorah + Jewish Home + Yair Lapid = 80
  • Likud + Yisrael Beiteinu + Shas + Yahadut Hatorah + Yair Lapid = 68

There are quite a lot of possible combinations. But one must keep in mind that:

  • Shas and Yahadut Hatorah agreed to go together either into the coalition or to the opposition. They are a package deal.
  • Meretz would not join a coalition headed by Netanyahu.
  • The Arab parties would not be in a coalition with Netanyahu. They most likely would not join a coalition headed by Lapid or Yachimovitch either.
  • Lapid and Bennet (Jewish Home) would both like to be in the coalition.
  • Labor and Tzipi Livni would most likely demand a high price for joining the coalition.

For a more detailed explanation (based on the exit polls, not the final results), see my previous post.

For a brief explanation about the 34 parties (2 dropped out at the last minute) which competed in the elections, see my earlier post.

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