Israeli legislative election, 1981

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‹ 1977 Flag of Israel.svg 1984 ›
Elections for the 10th Knesset
30 June 1981

Party Chairman Votes  % Seats +/–
Likud Menachem Begin 718,941 37.1% 48 Green Arrow Up.svg +5
Alignment Shimon Peres 708,536 36.6% 47 Green Arrow Up.svg +15
National Religious Party Yosef Burg 95,232 4.9% 6 Red Arrow Down.svg -6
Agudat Yisrael Avraham Yosef Shapira 72,312 3.7% 4 Gray Rectangle Tiny.svg 0
Hadash Meir Vilner 64,918 3.4% 4 Red Arrow Down.svg -1
Tehiya Yuval Ne'eman 44,700 2.3% 3  
Tami Aharon Abuhatzira 44,466 2.3% 3  
Telem Moshe Dayan 30,600 1.6% 2  
Shinui Amnon Rubinstein 29,837 1.5% 2  
Ratz Shulamit Aloni 27,921 1.4% 1 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

Menachem Begin
Likud

Subsequent Prime Minister

Menachem Begin
Likud

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,[1] Menachem Begin's Likud won by just one seat, which was awarded due to Likud having just 400 more surplus votes than the Alignment.[2] Voter turnout was 78.5%.[3]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/−
Likud 1 718,941 37.1 48 +3
Alignment 1 4 708,536 36.6 47 +15
National Religious Party 2 5 95,232 4.9 6 −6
Agudat Yisrael 72,312 3.7 4 0
Hadash 64,918 3.4 4 −1
Tehiya 44,700 2.3 3 New
Tami 44,466 2.3 3 New
Telem 3 30,600 1.6 2 New
Shinui 29,837 1.5 2 New
Ratz 4 27,921 1.4 1 0
Poalei Agudat Yisrael 17,090 0.9 0 −1
Independent Liberals 11,764 0.6 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
Kach 5,128 0.3 0 0
Independence 4,710 0.2 0 New
One Israel 3,726 0.2 0 New
Arab Citizens' List 2,596 0.1 0 New
Pensioners' List (Led by Miriam Gehatya) 2,404 0.1 0 New
Unity Party 1,293 0.1 0 New
Ya'ad 1,228 0.1 0 New
Otzma 839 0.0 0 New
Tent Movement 545 0.0 0 New
Abolish Income Tax 503 0.0 0 New
Amkha 460 0.0 0 New
Youth Movement 412 0.0 0 New
Council to Rescue the Homeland 405 0.0 0 New
Initiative - Independents Movement 400 0.0 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 17,243 - - -
Total 1,937,366 100 120 0
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.

3 Telem split into Ometz and the Movement for the Renewal of Social Zionism.

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[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Labour leads on eve of Israeli poll The Guardian, 30 June 1981
  2. ^ Rightward surplus votes Haaretz, 5 December 2012
  3. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p126 ISBN 0-19-924958-X

External links[edit]