Israel 2013 results

Exit polls initially suggest Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu may have won only 31 seats. I believe that is worse than any pre-election poll.

Labor is projected to be right about where polling had it last week: 17. Yesh Atid is actually projected as the second largest, with 18 or 19; I do not think any pre-election poll hinted at that.

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) is on 12, which is a lot less than anticipated. Shas also 12, Meretz 6 or 7.

Very interesting, with the caveat that these are not yet actual results.

22 thoughts on “Israel 2013 results

  1. It’s too early to tell, but we could be seeing the end of Shas’s influence.

    Likud, Lapid, Habayit and YB have 63 between them, enough to overthrow the Tal law.

    While unlikely, Likud could ditch YB and form a 73 seat center coalition with Yesh Atid, Labor, and Hatnua.

    We’ll have to see what happens.

  2. The 972 live blog says that the two “blocs” are currently projected to be tied at 60-60! (See 3:30 a.m. entry.)

    Of course, the blocs are not that rigid, and someone will come over from the other side and back Netanyahu (for a price), surely. Plus, even if the “center left” got 61, that includes non-Zionist parties, and that will not be a governing formula. But still it is fascinating!

    Also, the Likud-Beiteinu count had earlier been bumped up by some of the media projections to 33. However, the live results page shows their vote share keeps falling, and is below 24%. If that holds, it seems like it would mean no more than 30 seats.

  3. I really wish the press would stop reporting the whole left-bloc/right-bloc thing. It’s completely meaningless in the Israeli context. The Arab parties won’t be part of any leftist government, and the religious parties could be.

    Haaretz does a much better job (unsurprisingly), reporting results for the left /right/religious/Arab blocs. Even better would be an analysis of possible coalitions, like QuirksBlog does for the Netherlands.

  4. Exactly, Vasi!

    (And I fixed your comment per your later note. I am not sure whatever happened to the edit feature. Maybe the plug-in needs updating. I know it is still installed.)

  5. I had thought of a 60-60 Knesset split since Kadima crossed the threshold, but I’ve been running the “complicated” seat calculations for a while now and it was 61-59 for the right-orthodox parties until the 4:16 AM IST update, which finally produced a tie.

    Incidentally, I see the journalistic habit of attaching adjectives such as “complex” or “complicated” to PR systems is alive and well in Israel too…

  6. Based on the current numbers, it looks like Kadima will pass the threshold. With 66.6% turnout, and 98.95% valid votes of those case, the threshold will be around 74,556 votes, and Kadima currently has 74,686 with 96% of the votes counted. The should get around 3,000 of the 4% outstanding, which should get them over the threshold.

    Now it comes down to surplus votes. Does anyone know if a party must have signed a surplus vote agreement in order to receive surplus votes? Based on current totals, United Arab List (Ra’am-Ta’al-Mada) would get the 5th surplus seat, out of an expected seven. They did not sign a surplus vote agreement, though, and if one is mandatory to get surplus seats, that would mean their surplus seat would instead go to one of Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu or Habayait HaYehudi.

    I also assumed that Am Shalem’s votes do not count towards Kadima’s totals in the surplus votes distribution as Am Shalem didn’t reach the threshold. Can anyone confirm if that’s correct?

  7. Based on results through 6:08 AM Israeli time (10:08 PM Central Standard Time), with 3,614,226 votes counted (roughly 96.1% of the total):
    3,328,431 votes have been cast for parties above the threshold, making the Hare quota 27,736.93.
    Hare quotas earned: Likud 29 (0.03 quotas, or 896 votes, away from another seat); Yesh Atid 18, Labor 14, Shas 11, Habayit Hayehudi 11, United Torah Judaism 6, Hatnuah 6, Meretz 5 (0.09 quotas away from another seat), United Arab List 4 (0.10 quotas from another seat), Hadash 4, Balad 3, Kadima 2
    7 seats are to be awarded by surplus votes. The surplus votes agreements are Likud Beiteinu and Habayit, Yesh Atid and Labor, Shas and UTJ, Hatnuah and Meretz, and Hadash and Balad. United Arab List did not sign a surplus votes agreement, and Kadima signed one with Am Shalem, who did not pass the threshold.
    Hatnuah-Meretz win the first surplus seat (which goes to Meretz). Shas-UTJ win the second surplus seat (which goes to UTJ). Likud-Habayit win the third surplus seat (which goes to Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu). Yesh Atid-Labor win the fourth surplus seat (which goes to Labor). Likud-Habayit win the fifth surplus seat (which goes to Likud-YB). United Arab List win the fifth surplus seat, if they are eligible for surplus seats. Yesh Atid-Labor win the sixth surplus seat, which goes to Yesh Atid. Likud-Habayit win the seventh surplus seat (26618 to 26,616 over Shas), which goes to Habayit. If United Arab List cannot win surplus seats, that seat instead would go to Shas-UTJ, with Shas getting the seat.
    Assuming United Arab List can win surplus seats, that means right now we’re looking at:
    Likud Yisrael Beiteinu 31 (20 Likud, 11 Yisrael Beiteinu), Habayit Hayehudi 12; Total nationalist: 43
    Shas 11, United Torah Judaism 6; Total Orthodox 17
    Total “right bloc”: 60
    Yesh Atid 19, Labor 15, Hatnuah 6, Meretz 6, Kadima 2; total center-left: 48
    Ra’am 5, Hadash 4, Balad 3; total “Arab” parties: 12
    Total “center-left-Arab bloc”: 60
    If United Arab list can’t win surplus seats because they didn’t sign a surplus vote agreement, that seat would go to Shas and the “right bloc” would win, 61-59.

  8. Chris, according to the Knesset website document detailing the distribution of seats in the 2009 election – available as a Hebrew-only PDF here – lists without surplus agreements (for example, Balad) did participate in the distribution of unallocated Knesset seats following apportionment by the Hare quota, while votes cast for lists below the threshold were disregarded even when the corresponding lists had surplus agreements with lists above the threshold.

    Incidentally, note that you allocated the fifth additional seat twice, and consequently ended up with an extra additional seat for The Jewish Home, and also one fewer seat for UTJ.

  9. So I did. Thanks for clearing up the mix-up in my calculation.

    The media are reporting the final results as: Likud Yisrael Beiteinu 31 (meaning 20 Likud and 11 Yisrael Beiteinu), Yesh Atid 19, Labor 15, Shas 11, HaBayit HaYehudi 11, United Torah Judaism 7, HaTnuah 6 Meretz 6, United Arab List (Ra’am)-Ta’al 5, Hadash 4, Balad 3, Kadima 2.

    This breaks down as follows:

    113 Hare quota seats: Likud Yisrael Beiteinu 29, Yesh Atid 18, Labor 14, Shas 11, HaBayit HaYehudi 11, UTJ 6, HaTnuah 6, Meretz 5, Ra’am-Ta’al 4, Hadash 4, Balad 3 Kadima 2.

    7 surplus seats: 1. Hatnuah/Meretz (Meretz), 2. Shas/UTJ (UTJ), 3. Likud/Habayit (Likud), 4. Yesh Atid/Labor (Labor), 5. Likud/Habayit (Likud), 6. Ra’am-Ta’al, 7. Yesh Atid/Labor (Yesh Atid).

    Compared to the 2009 elections, Yesh Atid (new) gains 19 seats, HTnuah (new) gains 6 seats, HaBayeit HaYehudi gains 4 (compared to both Jewish Home and National Union in 2009), Meretz gains 3, Labor gains 2, United Torah Judaism gains 2, and Ra’am-Ta’al gains 1 seat. Kadima loses 26 seats, Likud loses 7 seats, and Yisrael Beiteinu lose 4 seats. Shas and Balad have no change in seats.

    The “final” results are apparently only from regular polling stations and not “special” polling stations like military stations, hospitals, and prisons. The right wing parties are hopeful they could still gain seats–Habayit thinks they may end up with 14 seats and Otzma LeYisrael still thinks they have a chance to clear the threshold with military votes.

    Assuming that military results do not change the overall distribution, the split between the two “blocs” is 60-60. Of course, since the center-left parties aren’t going to form a coalition with the Arab parties, this is meaningless, and Bibi will almost certainly still be PM. I would find it difficult for him to form coalition without Yesh Atid, which may mean a coalition without the Haredi parties, but we’ll see.

  10. Manuel, thanks for the link to that distribution PDF. One of the subtotals mentions section 81(d)(4) of the electoral law, which I’d never heard of before. Here’s a rough translation of that section:

    “A list that did not receive more than half the total above-threshold votes, but wins half the Knesset seats, shall not be allocated any more seats.”

    Such a specific law to deal with a situation that is highly unlikely to ever happen! I wonder what the story behind it is…

  11. It looks like the increase in support for Yesh Atid and Hatuna matches the drop in support for Kadima. Its reasonable to assume that Kadima voters shifted to the other two center-right parties.

    The other big change seems to have been the drop for the Likud-YB bloc, with modest advances (or recoveries) on the extreme right or the left. That means will complicate coalition building in that the most logical basis for a coalition is LIkud-YB-Yesh Atid, but then Netanyahu has to make up for the lost of 11 seats. The only real options are then the extreme right, Labor, or the religious parties and the latter are problematic with Yesh Atid. I think an attempt will be made to bring Labor back into the government.

  12. I think the main complicating factor with Israeli politics is not the use of PR (though Israel uses an extreme and not ideal version, nationwide closed list with a low threshold), but the convention that the Arab parties can’t be part of the governing coalition.

    This means about a fifth of the electorate is potentially excluded right off the bat, meaning that sufficient consensus has to be found among 60% of the remaining 80%. I realize that “Jewish” parties do campaign for Arab votes, and with some success, if this wasn’t the case the situation would be even worse than it is.

    There is something of a parallel with the Republican Party in the United States. Since their efforts (and they have made efforts) to gain any sort of support in the African-American community have been flops, the Republicans have to run up lopsided percentages among white voters in order to win elections. But that means opening the party up to all sort of cranks to broaden their electoral coalition.

  13. To be clear, the reason a party can participate in “surplus” distribution even if it lacks a “surplus vote” agreement with another list is that these steps refer to two different things. Let me try to explain it, as best I understand it.

    The allocation Chris describes is simply the distribution of the D’Hondt divisors. So all lists are considered in this process. The “twist” is that any two or more lists that have signed a “surplus vote agreement” participate in the D’Hondt process based on their joint votes–provided that any votes for a partnering list that failed to cross the threshold on its own are not included in the joint total.

    Note that what in Israel is called the Bader-Ofer method is actually D’Hondt. The calculation of Hare quotas first, then use of D’Hondt on the remainders, is the same as using D’Hondt all the way through.

  14. “Note that what in Israel is called the Bader-Ofer method is actually D’Hondt. The calculation of Hare quotas first, then use of D’Hondt on the remainders, is the same as using D’Hondt all the way through.”

    @MSS, the surplus votes rule makes this technically untrue. While this election was the same as if Israel had used d’Hondt all the way, that is not always the case. Indeed, if there were one more surplus seat, that seat would have gone to Habayit-Likud over Shas-UTJ, 26,645.2-26,635.9 (and then to Habayit over Likud, 26,137.2-26,003.1). However, were true d’Hondt used, the 8th surplus seat would go to Shas, with 26,345.9 to Habayit’s 26,137.2.

  15. Kadima’s crossing the threshold changed the dynamics greatly. Had they failed to do so (still theoretically possible if they get almost no military votes, but based on the total reported turnout of 66.6% I think they’re safe), those two seats would have gone to Shas and Habayit, making the right/left split 62-58.

  16. Chris, interesting point. I almost wrote “same as D’Hondt were it not for the ‘twist’ regarding surplus vote agreements.” This is actually a detail I am not completely sure of.

    I’d be curious to know Manuel’s take on that.

  17. Again, I just don’t think we should talk about left and right blocs, as though there really were two alternative government possibilities. That’s just misleading for Israel. There is a center that could go either way (Yesh Atid, HaTnua, Kadima). Then there are the religious and nationalist parties, which can be seen as occupying (pun not intended) separate dimensions (from each other, as well as from the main left and right). And then there are the Arab/non-Zionist parties, which are not meaningfully part of a potential governing “left” bloc.

  18. “Nonetheless, the distribution of Knesset mandates can also be obtained by applying the D’Hondt rule, first to qualifying lists or list combinations (the qualifying threshold being applied list-by-list for the latter) in order to allocate all Knesset seats, and then within list combinations to apportion mandates won by each combination among its constituent lists. I applied the D’Hondt rule in the manner previously described to the results of the 2003, 2006 and 2009 general elections, and in each case the distribution of seats was identical to that obtained under the Bader-Ofer Law.”

    –Manuel, in the earlier comment (see link at #15 in this thread)

    Note: applying D’Hondt to “qualifying lists or combinations of lists”.

  19. Matthew, first of all thank you for your kind words.

    Now, the method I described four years ago still works in 2013, so my take is that 1) it’s D’Hondt all the same; and 2) that the seemingly innocuous surplus agreements are essentially back-door coalitions, a fact conveniently obscured by Israel’s implementation of the D’Hondt rule.

    That might as well be fine for Israeli parties: somehow I suspect that “we’re having this little surplus arrangement with X” is a lot easier to sell to the rank and file than “we’re running in coalition.”

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