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

About the 1973 Elections

The elections for the Eighth Knesset were delayed as a result of the Yom Kippur War, and were held about two months after the end of the fighting. Large sections of the population were still in a state of shock and felt very bitter. Many families were still in mourning, and many soldiers who had been drafted had not yet been demobilized and were still at the front. The Likud, (established toward the elections on the basis of Gahal), exploited these negative feelings. In its election campaign, the Likud attacked the government for its negligence and for seeking a cease fire too early, before complete victory had been attained.

Due to the harsh criticism and the anti-government mood, it may be argued that the election results were actually an achievement for Prime Minister Golda Meir and the Alignment, which lost only five seats as compared to the previous elections. Together with the Arab satellite lists (three seats), Ratz (three seats), and the radical left (five seats), the Alignment commanded an absolute majority of 62 seats. However, the significant strengthening of the Likud, which rose to 39 seats, and the narrowing of the gap between Likud and the ruling party, were the first signs of the political upheaval that was to occur less than four years later.

The election results made it clear that only the Alignment could form a government. When the results were revealed, there was much disappointment in the public, which stemmed from the sense that those responsible for failure of the war (Prime Minister Golda Meir and Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan) had not been punished. The waves of protest increased when Prime Minister Meir announced that she intended to leave Dayan in his post as Minister of Defense, and the National Religious Party (NRP) threatened to remain outside the government. Finally, Prime Minister Meir managed to present a government based on a coalition of three parliamentary groups (the Alignment, the NRP, and the Independent Liberals), which, together with the Arab lists, numbered 68 MKs. This government, however, was short-lived. The Agranat Commission—a State commission of inquiry, which examined the failings of the Yom Kippur War—published its interim report in April 1974. In the wake of the report and public pressure, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, and the Chief of Staff resigned. A new government was formed by Yitzhak Rabin in June of that year.

Additional Reading

Alan Arian, "Were the 1973 Elections in Israel Critical?", Comparative Politics 8 (1), 1975, pp. 152-165.

Alan Arian (ed.), The Elections in Israel 1973, Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press, 1975.

Don Peretz, "The War Election and Israel's Eighth Knesset", Middle East Journal 28 (2), 1974, pp. 111-125.

Elections for the 8th 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
Alignment 621,183 51 39.6 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
Likud 473,309 39 30.2 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
National Religious Party 130,349 10 8.3 Candidates Candidates
Religious Torah Front 60,012 5 3.8 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
Independent Liberals 56,560 4 3.6 Candidates Candidates
Rakah 53,353 4 3.4 Candidates Candidates
Ratz 35,023 3 2.2 Candidates Candidates
Progress and Development 22,604 2 1.5 Candidates Candidates
Moked 22,147 1 1.4 Candidates Candidates
Arab List for Bedouins and Villagers 16,408 1 1.0 Candidates Candidates
Black Panthers 13,332 - 0.9 Candidates Candidates
League List 12,811 - 0.8 Candidates Candidates
HaOlam HaZeh 14,516 - 0.8 Candidates Candidates
Movement for Social Equality 10,202 - 0.7 Candidates Candidates
Shituf Ve-Ahva 9,949 - 0.6 Candidates Candidates
Blue and White Panthers 5,945 - 0.4 Candidates Candidates
כך 4,433 - 0.3 Candidates Candidates
Israeli Arab List 3,269 - 0.2 Candidates Candidates
Yemenite Association 3,195 - 0.2 Candidates Candidates
Socialist Revolution List 1,201 - 0.1 Candidates Candidates
Popular Movement 1,101 - 0.1 Candidates Candidates