Israeli legislative election, 1961

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‹ 1959 Flag of Israel.svg 1965 ›
Elections for the 5th Knesset
15 August 1961

Party Chairman Votes  % Seats +/–
Mapai David Ben-Gurion 349,330 34.7% 42 Red Arrow Down.svg -5
Herut Menachem Begin 138,599 13.8% 17 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Liberal Peretz Bernstein 137,255 13.6% 17  
National Religious Party Haim-Moshe Shapira 98,786 9.8% 12 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Mapam Meir Ya'ari 75,654 7.5% 9 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Ahdut HaAvoda Yisrael Galili 66,170 6.6% 8 Green Arrow Up.svg +1
Maki Shmuel Mikunis 42,111 4.2% 5  
Agudat Yisrael Yitzhak-Meir Levin 37,178 3.7% 4  
Poalei Agudat Yisrael Kalman Kahana 19,428 1.9% 2  
Cooperation and Brotherhood Diyab Obeid 19,342 1.9% 2 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Progress and Development Ahmed A-Dahar 16,034 1.6% 2 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Note - The above list contains only the parties which passed the threshold.

See complete expanded list in the full table below.


Prime Minister before election

Levi Eshkol
Mapai

Subsequent Prime Minister

Golda Meir
Alignment

Elections for the fifth Knesset were held in Israel on 15 August 1961. Voter turnout was 81.6%.[1]

Background[edit]

Election campaign[edit]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/−
Mapai ¹ 349,330 34.7 42 −5
Herut ² 138,599 13.8 17 0
Liberal Party ² 137,255 13.6 17 +3
National Religious Party 98,786 9.8 12 0
Mapam 75,654 7.5 9 0
Ahdut HaAvoda 66,170 6.6 8 +1
Maki ³ 42,111 4.2 5 +2
Agudat Yisrael 37,178 3.7 4 0
Poalei Agudat Yisrael 19,428 1.9 2 0
Cooperation and Brotherhood 19,342 1.9 2 0
Progress and Development 16,034 1.6 2 0
Progress and Work 3,561 0.4 0 0
Religious Sephardim List 3,181 0.3 0 New
Supporters of Democracy 335 0.0 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 30,066 - - -
Total 1,037,030 100 120 0
Source: Nohlen et al.

¹ Eight MKs broke away from Mapai to establish Rafi.

² Herut and the Liberal Party merged to form Gahal. Seven Liberal Party members unhappy with the decision (largely former Progressive Party members) broke away to form the Independent Liberals.

³ Two MKs broke away from Maki to establish Rakah.

The Fifth Knesset[edit]

Tenth government[edit]

The fifth Knesset started with David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party forming the tenth government on 2 November 1961. His coalition included the National Religious Party, Ahdut HaAvoda, Agudat Israel Workers, Cooperation and Brotherhood and Progress and Development, and had 13 ministers. Kadish Luz of Mapai was appointed Knesset Speaker. The government collapsed when Ben-Gurion resigned on 16 June 1963 citing personal reasons, but in reality was annoyed at a perceived lack of support from his colleagues. He later broke away from Mapai with several colleagues to form Rafi.

Eleventh government[edit]

Levi Eshkol took over Mapai and formed the eleventh government on 26 June 1963 with the same coalition partners as previously, but one more minister. The government resigned on 10 December 1964 when Ben-Gurion demanded that members of the Supreme Court investigate the Lavon Affair.

Twelfth government[edit]

Eshkol formed the twelfth government a week later on 22 December 1964 with the same coalition partners and ministers as previously.

The fifth Knesset was notable for the coalescing of the two major right-wing parties (Herut and the Liberal Party) to form an electoral block (Gahal) capable of threatening Mapai's hegemony in Israeli politics. Gahal, which by then had become Likud, finally overtook Mapai (which had merged into the Alignment) in the 1977 elections.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p124 ISBN 0-19-924958-X

External links[edit]