April 2019 Israeli legislative election
All 120 seats in the Knesset
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Early legislative elections were held in Israel on 9 April 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 21st Knesset. Elections had been due in November 2019, but were brought forward following a dispute between members of the current government over a bill on national service for the ultra-Orthodox population, as well as impending corruption charges against incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's Likud tied with Blue and White alliance of Benny Gantz, both winning 35 seats. The balance of power was held by smaller parties, with right-wing and religious parties that have previously sat in coalition with Likud, which would have allowed Netanyahu to form the next government.
Due to continuation of the disagreements over the national service of the ultra-Orthodox, a snap election was called, and is set to be held on 17 September 2019.
- 1 Background
- 2 Electoral system
- 3 Parliament factions
- 4 Campaign
- 5 Opinion polls
- 6 Allegations of misconduct
- 7 Results
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had opposed a draft law (supported by the ultra-Orthodox parties) which would allow full-time Torah students exemptions from serving in the IDF. Meretz and Yesh Atid submitted a proposal on 12 March 2018 seeking the dissolution of the Knesset. Early elections were averted at that point in time.
Lieberman would eventually leave the government over the cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza. This leaves the governing coalition with 61 seats (out of 120 in total). The Jewish Home announced on 16 November that it would leave the government, as Naftali Bennett (the head of the party) was not given Lieberman's former Defense Ministry post. Reports were that Netanyahu would not be giving the post to Bennett and was to meet with other coalition leaders on 18 November to determine a date for early election. However, after further discussion, Bennett decided to stay on as education minister, narrowly avoiding the collapse of the Netanyahu government again. However, continued dysfunction over various issues, including military service for the ultra-Orthodox, caused parliament to dissolve and early elections to be called for 9 April 2019. Had early elections not been called, the regularly-scheduled elections would have taken place seven months later, on 5 November 2019.
The 120 seats in the Knesset are elected by closed list proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency. The electoral threshold for the election is 3.25%. In most cases, this implies a minimum party size of four seats, but on some occasions, a party can end up with three.
While election day was on 9 April 2019, polls opened in embassies around the world on 28 March.
Two party lists can sign an agreement that allows them to compete for leftover seats as though they are running together. The Bader–Ofer method disproportionately favors larger lists, meaning that such an alliance is more likely to receive leftover seats than both of its comprising lists would be individually. If the alliance receives leftover seats, the Bader–Ofer calculation is then applied privately, to determine how the seats are divided among the two allied lists. The following agreements were signed by parties prior to the election:
- United Right and Likud
- New Right and Yisrael Beiteinu
- Meretz and Labor
- United Torah Judaism and Shas
- Hadash–Ta'al and Balad-Ra'am
The table below lists the parliamentary factions represented in the 20th Knesset.
- Hatnuah and the Labor Party ran as a joint list called the Zionist Union. Amir Peretz was elected as a member of Hatnuah, but defected to Labor before the split.
- Ta'al ran as part of the Joint List and split off before the 2019 elections. Due to rotation agreements, one seat Ta'al initially held in the Knesset rotated to other factions of the Joint List.
Public expression of interest
- The Zehut Party, under the leadership of Moshe Feiglin, was founded in 2015 for the purpose of running in the Knesset elections as a right-wing libertarian Zionist party. It held Israel's first open primaries on 29 January 2019.
- Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Shuli Mualem announced on 29 December 2018 that they would leave the Jewish Home party and form a new religious-secular party called the New Right.
- Engineer and Nazareth resident Salman Abu Ahmad announced on 2 January that he launched a new Israeli Arab party named New Horizon — An Arab Centrist Party, which would participate in the elections.
- Former IDF brigadier general Gal Hirsch announced on 8 January that he launched a new party named Shield of Israel.
- Motti Ashkenazi and Gad Haran will lead the Social Justice Party.
- Amos Danieli will run as part of the For Our Sake party.
- Semyon Grafman will run as part of the Social Safety party.
- Tkuma and The Jewish Home ran on a joint list named the United Right alongside Otzma Yehudit.
- Former Likud MK Oren Hazan headed the Tzomet party.
- Orly Levy ran in the election with a political party named Gesher. She announced that she and her party would run independently after a failed joint-list agreement with Benny Gantz and his Resilience party.
- Benny Gantz's Israel Resilience Party ("Hosen Yisrael" in Hebrew) ran on a united list named Blue & White, with Moshe Ya'alon's Telem, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, and former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
- Tzipi Livni announced on 18 February 2019 that her Hatnuah party would not contest the election.
- Left-wing activist Eldad Yaniv announced on 30 December 2018 that he would re-form his 2013 party named "Eretz Hadasha", which would have run in the upcoming election, though Yaniv dropped out of the race following the revealing of the Gantz/Lapid joint list on 20 February 2019.
- The Green Leaf party announced on 20 February 2019 that it would not participate in the election.
- Haredi Women's College founder Adina Bar-Shalom had expressed interest in participating in the elections with her newly-formed, but unregistered, party Ahi Yisraeli, though the party announced its withdrawal on 26 February 2019.
- Yom-Tov Samia announced the withdrawal of B'Yahad on 4 March 2019.
- Eli Yishai announced the withdrawal of Yachad on 27 March 2019.
Some parties, like Likud, Labor, the Jewish Home, Zehut, and Meretz, have systems in which the leadership and most candidates on their lists are elected in primary elections.
Blue and White
Benny Gantz's Israel Resilience Party and Moshe Ya'alon's Telem unveiled its party slate on 19 February 2019. Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party unveiled its party slate on 18 February 2019. On 21 February 2019, the three parties agreed to run on a united list named Blue and White.
The Jewish Home held its leadership primaries on 27 April 2017; Naftali Bennett won with 80.3% of the vote, Yonatan Branski received 12.2%, and Yitzhak Zagha received 7.47%. In the aftermath of the formation of the New Right, and Bennett's leaving, the Jewish Home cancelled its primaries. Rafi Peretz was elected leader of the Jewish Home on 4 February.
On 14 February 2019, Jewish Home agreed to run on a joint list with the Tkuma party. Jewish Home leader Rafi Peretz headed the joint list, with Tkuma chair Bezalel Smotrich as the number two. On 20 February 2019, they agreed to include Otzma Yehudit in their list, titled the United Right. The inclusion of Otzma Yehudit prompted strong criticism.
The Labor Party held its leadership primaries on 10 July 2017; Avi Gabbay defeated Amir Peretz in the run-off, with Isaac Herzog being defeated during the first round of voting. The party held primaries on 11 February 2019 to choose members for its slate.
The Likud leadership primary election was originally scheduled for 23 February 2016 following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal, and later cancelled by a party court on the basis that the Likud constitution did not require a vote when there was only one candidate. Likud held the primary for the rest of its list on 5 February 2019, which resulted in several of Netanyahu's rivals winning senior spots. Voting irregularities surfaced in the primary results. In some cases, specific candidates received more votes in some locales than the total number of ballots cast in those locales. The Likud party investigated the matter. In the final results, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein came in first place, followed by Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan, Gideon Sa'ar, and Miri Regev.
On 28 February 2019, the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, announced his intent to indict Prime Minister Netanyahu on three charges which include bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. These include trading legislation for favorable press coverage.
The Zehut party held Israel's first open primaries on 29 January 2019, in which all Israeli voters (including those living abroad) were able to vote via a secure online website. About 12,000 people voted in these primaries, which determined the order of the candidates who won in the party's internal primaries in September 2017.
These graphs show the polling trends from the time Knesset candidate lists were finalized on 21 February, until Friday before election day (5 April).
If more than one poll was conducted on the same day, the graphs show the average of the polls for that date.
- Right-of-centre parties: all current government parties—Likud, Kulanu,[fn 1] Shas, United Torah Judaism (UTJ), United Right (UR), and New Right—as well as Yisrael Beiteinu and Zehut.[fn 2]
- Centre and left-of-centre parties: Labor, Blue & White,[fn 3] Ra'am-Balad, Hadash-Ta'al, Meretz, and Gesher.[fn 4]
Note: Political blocs do not necessarily determine the exact make-up of post-election coalitions.
* For parties not crossing the electoral threshold in any given poll, seats are calculated as a percentage of 120 total seats.
Allegations of misconduct
The Hadash–Ta'al alliance filed a complaint requesting the removal of 1,200 concealed cameras in polling places in Arab communities. A judge overseeing the election ordered the concealed equipment removed. The company that set up the cameras, Kaizler Inbar, bragged about its role in social media posts.
|Blue & White||1,125,881||26.13||35||+24|
|United Torah Judaism||249,049||5.78||8||+2|
|United Arab List–Balad||143,666||3.33||4||–3|
|The Arab List (ANP–Mada)||4,135||0.10||0||0|
|Shield of Israel||3,394||0.08||0||New|
|Justice for All||3,281||0.08||0||New|
|Kol Yisrael Ahim||1,140||0.03||0||New|
|Pirate Party of Israel||819||0.02||0||0|
|Eretz Yisrael Shelanu||701||0.02||0||New|
|We are all friends Na Nach||624||0.01||0||0|
|Hope for Change||562||0.01||0||0|
|Green Economy – One Nation||556||0.01||0||0|
|Ihud Bnei HaBrit||265||0.01||0||New|
Members of the Knesset who lost their seats
This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Leader of Blue and White faction Benny Gantz conceded, paving the way for incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start talks with other parties to form a governing coalition. On 15 and 16 April, leaders of all the parties who won seats in the Knesset met with President Reuven Rivlin to recommend a designated person to form a government. Netanyahu received recommendations from leaders representing 65 seats in the Knesset, whereas Gantz received recommendations from leaders representing only 45 seats in the Knesset. Leaders of the two Arab parties, representing 10 seats in the Knesset, declined to make any recommendation. Based on the recommendations he received, Rivlin designated Netanyahu to form the next governing coalition. After a month of negotiations, Netanyahu's failure to form a government led to a 74 to 45 vote in the Knesset in favour of dispersing just after midnight on 29 May 2019. A new election is tentatively scheduled for 17 September 2019.
- Kulanu is a centre to centre-right party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
- Zehut is a right-wing libertarian party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
- Blue & White has expressed its intention not to form a coalition with Ra'am-Balad or Hadash-Ta'al.
- Gesher is a centre-left party that has expressed openness to serve in either a Likud- or Blue & White-led government.
- "Netanyahu to meet with Lieberman over coalition crisis". Ynet News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "Meretz, Yesh Atid seek to dissolve the Knesset". Ynet News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "In last-minute deal, coalition okays compromise to dodge early elections". The Times of Israel. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Pfeffer, Anshel (14 November 2018). "Explained // Defense Minister Resigns, Firing First Salvo of Israeli Elections. The Timing Couldn't Be Worse for Netanyahu". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- "Israel defence minister resigns over Gaza". BBC News. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Marissa Newman. "As Liberman quits, looming draft law deadline puts Netanyahu under the gun". Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Raoul Wootliff. "Israel heads toward elections as Jewish Home says it will leave coalition". Times of Israel. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Oren Liebermann. "Israel heading for early elections after turbulent week for Netanyahu". CNN. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Felicia Schwartz; Dov Lieber. "Israeli Government Crisis Raises Fresh Doubts for U.S. Peace Plan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- Staff (26 December 2018). "It's final: 20th Knesset dissolved, Israel heading to elections". Israel National News. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- "With Bader-Ofer method, not every ballot counts". The Jerusalem Post. 16 March 2014.
- www.twitter.com https://twitter.com/IsraelinIreland/status/1111235587749629954. Retrieved 9 April 2019. Missing or empty
- The Distribution of Knesset Seats Among the Lists – the Bader-Offer Method, Knesset website
- "Jewish Home signs vote sharing agreement with Likud". Israel National News. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "New Right unveils Knesset slate featuring equal representation for women". Times of Israel. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- "Labor and Meretz sign vote sharing agreement". Israel National News. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- "United Torah Judaism and Shas sign vote-sharing agreement". Israel National News. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Ra'am-Balad and Hadash-Ta'al - Israel Elections - Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- "likud - parties". en.idi.org.il.
- tzvimoshe. "Zehut Platform". Zehut. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- "Zehut". en.idi.org.il. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Albert Levy (27 January 2019). "Open primaries are good for all Israelis and good for Israel". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- Israel, David (29 December 2018). "Bennett's, Shaked's 'New Right' Party to Challenge Netanyahu". Jewish Press. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Political Drama: Senior Israeli Ministers Launch New Right-wing Party". Haaretz. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "New 'centrist' Arab party registers ahead of elections". The Times of Israel. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "Despite possible indictments, ex-IDF general Gal Hirsch launches political party". The Times of Israel. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
- Stuart Winer (14 January 2019). "Yom Kippur War vet who brought down government launches election campaign". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Stuart Winer (15 January 2019). "Commando who saved Netanyahu's life 50 years ago sets up rival political party". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- Raoul Wootliff (20 February 2019). "Registering new party, YouTube star urges public to vote 'F**k'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Hezki Baruch (14 February 2019). "Jewish Home and National Union to run together". Israel National News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- Jacob Magid. "Jewish Home party votes overwhelmingly to merge with extremist Otzma Yehudit". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Hezki Baruch (18 February 2019). "MK Oren Hazan leaves Likud, heads Tzomet party". Israel National News. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Levy-Abekasis: No merger with Gantz after his 'weird, hallucinatory' behavior". The Times of Israel. 20 February 2019.
- Gil Hoffman (20 February 2019). "Gantz loses out on Levy's Gesher, aims for merger with Lapid". The Jerusalem Post.
- Elad Benari (21 February 2019). "Gantz and Lapid to run together". Israel National News. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Jacob Magid (21 February 2019). "United Gantz-Lapid party to be called 'Blue and White'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Gil Hoffman (18 February 2019). "Tearful Tzipi Livni quits politics". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "Anti-corruption protest leader forms new party ahead of elections". The Times of Israel. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "Eldad Yaniv's Eretz Hadasha Party won't run in the election". Israel National News. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "Pro-marijuana legalization party to sit out elections". The Times of Israel. 20 February 2019.
- Jeremy Sharon (30 July 2018). "Adina Bar-Shalom registers new party, Ahi Yisraeli". The Jerusalem Post.
- Gil Hoffman (23 December 2018). "Adina Bar-Shalom to head nascent Achi Israeli party". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Israeli Brother party will not run in the elections". Israel National News. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "B'yahad party won't run in upcoming Knesset elections". Israel National News. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- Newman, Marissa (27 March 2019). "Eli Yishai's Yachad party drops out of election race, boosting right". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Sones, Mordechai (19 February 2019). "Israel Resilience: Full list of candidates". Israel National News. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Wootliff, Raoul (18 February 2019). "Lapid unveils Yesh Atid list, says unity with Gantz still 'on the table'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- Staff (21 February 2019). "Lapid-Gantz-Ya'alon list: 'Blue and White'". Israel National News. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Wootliff, Raoul (28 April 2017). "Bennett wins sweeping victory in Jewish Home leadership race". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- Hezki Baruch (3 January 2019). "'The Jewish Home needs rehabilitation'". Israel National News. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- Staff writer (4 February 2019). "Beit Yehudi leader slams Shaked, Bennet: You don't abandon a home". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- Lahar Harkov (14 January 2019). "Smotrich hopes to head religious-Zionist bloc after big win over Ariel". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- Hezki Baruch (21 February 2019). "'Union of the Right-Wing Parties' submits Knesset list". Israel National News. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Tibon, Amir (22 February 2019). "Prominent Jewish Group Changes Course, Denounces Far-right Party Courted by Netanyahu". Haaretz. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Jeremy Sharon. "Jewish groups speak out against union of Bayit Yehudi with Otzma Party". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Staff (22 February 2019). "AIPAC slams 'racist and reprehensible' extremist party wooed by Netanyahu". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Kershner, Isabel (10 July 2017). "Israeli Labor Party Tries a New Leader: Gabbay, Self-Made Millionaire". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Lis, Jonathan (8 February 2019). "Despite Plunge in Polls, Israel's Labor Not Rushing to Join Meretz". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- Lis, Jonathan (30 December 2015). "In Win for Netanyahu, Likud Votes for Early Primaries, Safeguarding His Leadership". Haaretz.
- Lis, Jonathan (13 January 2016). "Likud Calls Off Leadership Vote: Netanyahu to Remain Party Head Through 2023". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- "Netanyahu declared Likud leader for seventh term". The Jerusalem Post. 14 January 2016.
- Wootliff, Raoul (6 February 2019). "Edelstein takes top spot in Likud primaries, with Netanyahu rival Sa'ar in 4th". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- Gil Hoffman (25 December 2018). "Likud sets Feb 5 date for primary". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "Voting irregularities surface in Likud primaries results". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Staff (14 February 2019). "Final Likud primary tally leaves top 5 as is, with no gain for PM's rival Sa'ar". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- "Benjamin Netanyahu: What are the corruption allegations?". BBC News. 28 February 2019.
- Hoffman, Gil (22 March 2018). "Meretz voters elect Tamar Zandberg as new leader". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Elad Benari (14 February 2019). "Gilon and Rozin win Meretz primaries". Israel National News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- Fulbright, Alexander (20 February 2019). "Liberman unveils Yisrael Beytenu candidates, leaves out veteran lawmakers". The Times of Israel.
- Raoul Wootliff (29 January 2019). "With first open primaries, Moshe Feiglin's 'Zehut' looks for a public identity". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- Eliran Tal (30 January 2019). "אלו תוצאות הפריימריז של מפלגת זהות". Channel 20 News Israel. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- "Kulanu minister says party does not rule out joining Gantz-led coalition". Times of Israel. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Lahav Harkov (17 March 2019). "The Feiglin phenomenon". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- "Gantz Rules Out 'Political Discourse' With Arab Parties Over 'anti-Israel' Rhetoric". Haaretz. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Gil Hoffman (3 March 2019). "Gesher draws line on Netanyahu-led coalition". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- "Likud admits deploying cameras at polling stations to monitor 'problem Arabs'". Times of Israel. 9 April 2019.
- "Binyamin Netanyahu appears to have won a fifth term". The Economist. 10 April 2019.
- "Israeli PR Firm Boasts About Lowering Voter Turnout With Hidden Cameras at Arab Polling Sites". 10 April 2019.
- "Parties Furious over Reported Election Misdemeanours". The Jerusalem Post. 9 April 2019.
- "AS IT HAPPENED: Israelis cast ballots for next PM in high-stakes national election". I 24 News. 9 April 2019.
- "Knesset Member, Eitan Cabel". knesset.gov.il. The Israel Knesset. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- Liebermann, Oren (10 April 2019). "Netanyahu set for fifth term as Israel's leader as rival concedes defeat". CNN. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- "President officially taps Netanyahu to form next government". The Times of Israel. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
- "Israel goes back to elections as Netanyahu fails to form coalition". The Jerusalem Post. 29 May 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Israeli legislative election, April 2019.|