Israel at the Polls: The Knesset Elections of 1977

Israel at the Polls: The Knesset Elections of 1977

Israel at the Polls: The Knesset Elections of 1977

Israel at the Polls: The Knesset Elections of 1977

Excerpt

Israel at the Polls: The Knesset Elections of 1977 is another of the studies of national elections in selected democratic countries published by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). Books already in print examine presidential elections in France and parliamentary elections in such diverse countries as the United Kingdom, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), and Canada. Studies of elections in seventeen countries on five continents have been published or are in process. At least two elections will be covered in each country, providing opportunities for comparisons through time in individual countries as well as comparisons among countries. The series will also examine the direct election of representatives from nine countries to the European Parliament in 1979.

In the 1977 Knesset elections the Labor Alignment, which with its predecessor Mapai had dominated Israeli politics for more than half a century, was defeated by the Likud, another coalition of parties most of which antedated the foundation of the state of Israel. The Likud, led by Menachem Begin, won 33.4 percent of the popular vote and forty-three Knesset seats. By contrast Labor's popular vote dropped from 39.6 percent in 1973 to an all time low of 24.6 percent in 1977, and its representation in the Knesset slid from fifty-one to thirty-two members, one of whom, Moshe Dayan, resigned from the party even before the new legislature took office. Behind the two leading coalitions came the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC), with 11.6 percent of the vote and fifteen seats, and the National Religious party, with 9.2 percent of the vote and twelve seats. Nine lesser parties shared 18.7 percent of the votes and eighteen seats, while another nine failed to win the 1 percent of the vote that is the legal minimum required for representation in the Knesset.

The Labor party, as Myron J. Aronoff points out in Chapter 5 . . .

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