About the 2015 Elections
Less than two years after the 2013 elections, the 19th Knesset voted in favor of dissolution and early elections were called. The third Netanyahu government (sworn in during March 2013) reached the end of the road earlier than expected, in a manner that many people found surprising. The main reason for Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to dissolve the government and call early elections was, apparently, a deep personal crisis of confidence between him and two of his senior ministers: Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua). Netanyahu fired these two ministers in early December, 2014. A few days later, the Knesset voted by a large majority to dissolve itself.
One of the reforms that the 19th Knesset managed to advance was the "Governance Law." Among other things, this initiative succeeded in raising the electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25%. This step resulted in several changes in Israel's political map during the period leading up to the 2015 elections. On the left of the map, for the first time in history, the three Arab parties (Ra'am, Ta'al, and Balad) and Hadash united to form one common list ("The Joint List"). Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party, whose chances of passing the raised threshold were unclear, joined with the Labor party, and the two decided to run on a joint list called "The Zionist Union." Livni and Isaac Herzog, head of the Labor party, also adopted a model of joint leadership of the joint list, agreeing to rotate the premiership halfway through the term if the Zionist Union were to form the government after the elections. The high threshold also brought about an official end to the Kadima party and led to a continued political partnership between Tekuma and The Jewish Home.
The electoral cooperation between the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu did not continue in 2015. The joint "Likud Beitenu" faction was disbanded in the summer of 2014 and the two parties decided to run on separate lists for the elections for the 20th Knesset. In addition, the Shas party underwent a split when its former chairman, Eli Yishai, broke off from Aryeh Deri and formed a new list called Yachad.
Note that the platforms in this table are in Hebrew.
The Elections for the 20th Knesset
Number Eligible Voters
|Party||Votes Count||Number Of Seats||Share Of Votes||List Of Candidates||Platform|
|Joint (Arab) List||446,583||13||10.6||Candidates||Platform|
|The Jewish Home||283,910||8||6.7||Candidates||Platform|
|United Torah Judaism||210,143||6||5.0||Candidates|
|The Arab List||4,301||-||0.1||Candidates|
|Nivcheret Ha'am Hazmanit||761||-||0.0||Candidates||Platform|
|The Economics Party||337||-||0.0||Candidates|