Elections in Israel

Stand for Israel  |  October 31, 2022

Israel election voting
(Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/ericsphotography)

Israel’s system is very different from the United States – the U.S. has two parties. Israel has 13, for right now.

When Israel has an election, it’s not as simple as the party with the highest number of votes winning. The winning party may only get about 30% of the vote, far from a majority. To form a winning government, the winning party must form what’s called a bloc, or coalition, of ideologically-similar parties. This is usually done through negotiations, special appointments to cabinet positions, and the like.

The Knesset (Israel’s parliament) has 120 seats. So the winning party has to get 61 people to all join with it in a coalition.

On November 1, Israel will vote for a new ruling party/Prime Minister. The electoral threshold for this election is 3.25%, meaning any of Israel’s multiple political parties must gain 3.25% of the overall vote in order to qualify for a spot in the Knesset. The parties that do qualify (currently there are 13) then split the 120 seats in proportion to the votes they received.

These parties then must form the afore-mentioned coalition, and that coalition then decides on the Prime Minister who will lead Israel until her next election occurs.

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