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Note that the lists of candidates and platforms in this table are in Hebrew.

About the 1951 Elections

 The First Knesset served for only two and a half years. Early elections were held for the Second Knesset following serious coalition crises over issues of religion and education, which resulted from substantive differences of opinion between Mapai and its religious partners regarding the education of Jewish refugees in the immigrant camps. The elections that were scheduled for 1951 took place under the shadow of a serious economic crisis. During the period between the first two elections, the young State of Israel absorbed approximately half a million new immigrants, nearly doubling the population that Israel had on the eve of its establishment. The absorption of this mass immigration placed a serious strain on the State’s resources, and forced the government to adopt a policy of strict rationing and austerity. Despite this unpopular policy and the dramatic increase in the number of voters, Mapai managed to preserve its parliamentary power and continued to control the  government.

The lists that ran in this election were almost identical to those that had participated in the elections for the First Knesset. However, the religious bloc broke up into its four components parties, which ran in separate lists that won 15 seats in total. The two main opposition parties from the First Knesset—Mapam and Herut—both lost seats, while the General Zionists turned into the main opposition party with an impressive 20 seats. Despite the difficulties involved in cooperation with the religious parties, Ben-Gurion formed a coalition that was similar in make-up to the previous coalition and included Mapai, the four religious parties, the Progressives, and the satellite Arab lists.

In the course of the Second Knesset's term, a new  crisis between Mapai and the ultra-Orthodox broke out, and the latter resigned from the government. This resignation constituted an important political precedent: ever since then, the ultra-Orthodox parties have not accepted ministerial positions in the government, and upon joining subsequent coalitions have restricted themselves to positions of deputy ministers.

In the new government formed by Ben-Gurion, the second of four governments formed in the Third Knesset, the General Zionists replaced the ultra-Orthodox parties, which greatly increased the government's parliamentary base. The third and fourth governments were formed by Moshe Sharett, after Ben-Gurion resigned and moved to Sde Boker. The second of Sharett's governments was formed without the General Zionists, after the General Zionists had abstained in a vote of no-confidence in the government.


Elections for the 2nd Knesset


Number Eligible Voters


Electoral Threshold


Total Votes


Total Votes


Voter Turnout


Party Votes Count Number Of Seats Share Of Votes List Of Candidates Platform
Mapai 256,456 45 37.3 Candidates Candidates
General Zionists 111,394 20 16.2 Candidates Candidates
Mapam 86,095 15 12.5 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
HaPoel HaMizrahi 46,347 8 6.8 Candidates Candidates
Herut 45,651 8 6.6 Candidates Candidates
Maki 27,334 5 4.0 Candidates Candidates
Progressive Party 22,171 4 3.2 Candidates Candidates
Democratic List for Israeli Arabs 16,370 3 2.4 Candidates Candidates
Agudat Yisrael 13,799 3 2.0 Candidates Candidates
Sephardim and Oriental Communities 12,002 2 1.8 Candidates Candidates
Poalei Agudat Yisrael 11,194 2 1.6 Candidates Candidates
Mizrahi 10,383 2 1.5 Candidates Candidates
Progress and Work 8,067 1 1.2 Candidates Candidates
Yemenite Association 7,965 7,965 1.2 Candidates Candidates
Agriculture and Development 7,851 1 1.1 Candidates Candidates
Shlomei Emunei Yisrael 4,038 - 0.6 Candidates Candidates
New Immigrants and Discharged Soldiers 375 - 0.0 Candidates Candidates