This will be the first of three separate plantings based on one very interesting Ha’aretz article that Jonathan referred to in the comments to his Israeli “coalition boogie” entry. (Yes, three; it is an unusually rich newspaper article!)
Election night in Israel was a big one for Shas. Its leader, Eli Yishai emerged from the “shadow” of former leader Aryeh Deri.
All the gambles that Yishai took in the election campaign proved themselves. He gambled on stressing social welfare, and succeeded.
And, he followed a bold and apparently successful list-construction strategy:
He caused surprise when he placed at the margins of the slate a representative of new immigrants from Georgia, attorney Avraham Michaeli, and a representative of the Ethiopian immigrants, Rabbi Mazor Bayana, and apparently received votes from the two communities.
This is an interesting example of the use of personal-vote strategies in a closed list. Candidates who would attract votes based on their country of origin were placed in non-safe ranks where their chances of being elected would be enhanced to the extent that they could attract new voters to the list.
Michaeli was ranked 12th, and thus elected. Bayana was ranked 13th, and thus apparently just missed (though initial reports suggested Shas had won 13 seats).
These candidates were motivated to get out the vote for Shas because their list ranks were not safe. And voters of the Georgian and Ethiopian communities were motivated to vote for Shas (even though they could not vote for the candidates themselves, owing to the closed list) for the same reason: The only way they would have these representatives was if Shas performed better than expected.