Founded in 1973

Likud was founded in 1973, in the run-up to the elections for the Eighth Knesset. It started as a joint list comprised of Herut, the Liberal party, the Free Center, the State List, and the Labor Movement for a Greater Israel. In 1988, the parties on this joint list merged to form one party, which was also called Likud.

Likud is a right-wing party that has run for government throughout its existence. Headed by Menachem Begin, it first came to power in 1977, and remained as the governing party until 1984. Afterwards it was a major partner in the three unity governments that ruled until 1990. Likud's Yitzchak Shamir served as prime minister from 1986 until 1992, when Likud returned to the opposition after over 15 years in power. Likud returned to head the government from 1996–1999, under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu, and then again from 2001–2006, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon. In late 2005, however, the party suffered an internal crisis, when Ariel Sharon and a large contingent of Knesset members split and formed Kadima. After three years in the opposition, Likud returned to power in 2009, which marked the start of Netanyahu's second period as PM - which lasted until 2021.

Likud has traditionally supported the idea of Greater Israel (the believe that  Israel's borders should extend to include Judea & Samaria), even if it has not always defined the state's borders precisely. Although it refused to recognize Palestinian demands for sovereignty for a long period of time, Likud has since moderated its stand during the late 1990s. Likud  agreed to concessions in the Camp David Accords in 1979, began negotiations with the Palestinians during the Madrid Conference in 1991, continued the implementation of the Oslo accords, and unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, when it evacuated the Jewish settlements in that area.

On socio-economic issues, the party has right-wing, conservative views and advocates a free market. Despite this, however, Likud enjoys the support of economically disadvantaged populations. It has taken steps to privatize the economy, while at the same time setting a minimum wage, passing the State Pension Law, etc. On issues of religion and state, Likud has centrist views. Although it is a secular party, the religious parties consider it to be a more comfortable coalition partner than the Alignment or the Labor Party.

For many years, Likud advocated the independeny of the judiciary, the guarding of civil liberties and promoted the writing of a constitution. However, it seems that since the 2010s it adopted a more populist stance, which often attacks "elites" in the media, the courts and the civil service. The promotion (in 2023) of the judicial overhaul is the latest manifestation of this development.

Election Year Votes Count Number Of Seats Share Of Votes List Of Candidates Platform
2022 1,115,336 32 23.4 Candidates Candidates
2021 1,066,892 30 24.2 Candidates Candidates
2020 1,352,449 36 29.5 Candidates Candidates
September 2019 1,113,617 32 25.1 Candidates Candidates
April 2019 1,140,370 35 26.5 Candidates Candidates
2015 985,408 30 23.4 Candidates Candidates
2009 729,054 27 21.6 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2006 281,996 12 9.0 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2003 925,279 38 29.4 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1999 468,103 19 14.1 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1996 767,401 32* 25.1 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1992 651,229 32 24.9 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1988 709,305 40 31.1 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1984 661,302 41 31.9 Candidates Candidates
1981 718,941 48 37.1 Candidates Candidates
1977 583,968 43 33.4 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1973 473,309 39 30.2 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform

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

* For the 2013 election results see Likud Beitenu. In 1996 Likud ran on a joint list with Gesher and Tzomet.

Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Shamir, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, David Levy, Moshe Arens, Yitzhak Moda'i, Moshe Nissim, Dan Meridor, Ehud Olmert, Moshe Katzav, Silvan Shalom.

Although several members of Herut and the Liberal Party members served as ministers in the governments of Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir in the late 1960s, it was only in 1977 that Likud came to power. From 1977 to 1984, Likud members of Knesset served in high-ranking ministerial positions such as the Ministry of Defense (Ezer Weizmann, Ariel Sharon, and Moshe Arens), the Ministry of Finance (Simcha Erlich, Yigal Horowitz, and Yoram Aridor) and the Foreign Ministry (Yitzchak Shamir). Many members of the Likud also served as ministers in the rotation governments of the 11th Knesset and in the governments of the 12th Knesset.

Likud once again led the government after the elections for the Fourteenth Knesset in 1996, when it ran in a joint list with the Gesher and Tzomet parties. In that government, in addition to the position of prime minister, Likud controlled important ministries such as Finance (Dan Meridor) and Defense (Yitzchak Mordechai). Likud once again became the party with the highest number of cabinet members in 2001 to 2005, when the governments of Ariel Sharon were in power.

Between 2009 and 2021 Likud, under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, was the governing party in four different cabinets. Likud returned to opposition status in June 2021 but regained control following the 2022 elections. It is the largest party in the current coalition. Besides Prime Minister Netanyahu, other Likud ministers include Yoav Galant (Defense), Yisrael Katz (Foreign Affairs) and Yariv Levin (Justice).