Israeli legislative election, 1981
|Elections for the 10th Knesset|
|30 June 1981|
Elections for the tenth Knesset were held in Israel on 30 June 1981. Despite last minute polls suggesting a victory for Shimon Peres's Alignment, Menachem Begin's Likud won by just one seat, which was awarded due to Likud having just 400 more surplus votes than the Alignment. Voter turnout was 78.5%.
|Alignment 1 4||708,536||36.6||47||+15|
|National Religious Party 2 5||95,232||4.9||6||-6|
|Poalei Agudat Yisrael||17,090||0.9||0||-1|
|United Arab List||11,590||0.6||0||-1|
|Development and Peace||10,823||0.6||0||-1|
|Left Camp of Israel||8,691||0.4||0||-2|
|Arab Brotherhood List||8,304||0.4||0||New|
|List for Aliyah||6,992||0.4||0||New|
|Arab Citizens' List||2,596||0.1||0||New|
|Pensioners' List (Led by Miriam Gehatya)||2,404||0.1||0||New|
|Abolish Income Tax||503||0.0||0||New|
|Council to Rescue the Homeland||405||0.0||0||New|
|Initiative - Independents Movement||400||0.0||0||New|
|Source: Nohlen et al.|
1 Two MKs defected from Likud to the Alignment.
2 Haim Drukman left the National Religious Party and sat as an independent MK.
4 Ratz joined the Alignment but then broke away again.
5 Two MKs left the National Religious Party and formed Gesher – Zionist Religious Centre before returning to the NRP two weeks later.
The Tenth Knesset
The nineteenth government was formed by Menachem Begin on 5 August 1981, including Likud, the National Religious Party, Agudat Yisrael, Tami and Telem, and had 17 ministers. Tehiya joined the coalition on 26 August, upping the total to 18 ministers. Likud's Menachem Savidor was appointed Speaker of the Knesset. One of the government's first acts was to pass a bill annexing the Golan Heights. It also oversaw the Lebanon War and the subsequent Sabra and Shatila massacre, which resulted in Defence Minister Ariel Sharon losing his job. The country was also hit by several economic crises, including the collapse of most of the banking sector and hyper-inflation. Meanwhile, the religious parties (NRP and Agudat Israel) managed to pass a law banning state airline El Al from flying on Shabbat.
Yitzhak Shamir formed the twentieth government on 10 October 1983 after Begin had resigned for health reasons. He included the same parties in his coalition, but with 20 ministers. The next elections were held on 23 July 1984.
- Historical overview of the Tenth Knesset Knesset website
- Factional and Government Make-Up of the Tenth Knesset Knesset website