Election results by locality show Yesh Atid cannibalizing allies, far-right surging
Incomplete data shows that in Tel Aviv and many other towns, Lapid’s party improved over last year’s vote, with Labor and Meretz suffering
With results from elections for the 25th Knesset mostly in, an analysis of the voting by locality shows some changes from the previous vote last year, including Yesh Atid cannibalizing its left-wing allies in Tel Aviv, and the far-right Religious Zionism surging in dozens of cities.
Though the vote count was only at 86%, with the rest expected by Thursday, the initial results indicated certain trends.
For example, in Israel’s liberal hub of Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid was again the top vote-getter, but this time won a whopping 33 percent of the city’s votes compared with 22.1% in March 2021.
This came at the expense of Labor (14.8% in 2021 to 9.3% in 2022) and Meretz (14% to 11%) which is currently hovering beneath the electoral threshold.
While likely election winner Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud kept its strength in Tel Aviv and got 16.9% of the votes, the far-right Religious Zionism grew from 1.7% to 4.5%.
Yesh Atid marked similar leaps in other localities — though this again came at the expense of its left-wing allies.
Jerusalem didn’t see significant changes, with the Haredi United Torah Judaism party strengthening slightly from 23.5% to 23.7% and Likud moving slightly down from 20.6 to 19.1%. Other parties that showed modest improvements in the capital were Shas, Religious Zionism and Yesh Atid, while Meretz and Benny Gantz’s National Unity weakened.
In many localities with significant ultra-Orthodox populations — such as Arad, Netivot and Bnei Brak — the Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism grew stronger, reflecting a significantly higher turnout among that community than last year.
In Haifa, support for Yesh Atid surged to 26.6% and it was the top party in the city, after finishing second to Likud last year. The latter party finished with 20.6% of Haifa’s votes, similar to last year. Labor, a former powerhouse in the city, lost a third of its support since the previous election and got less than 5%.
A trend for many of the traditional right-wing bastions was Likud preserving its power from last year — losing or gaining a few percentage points — while Religious Zionism surged, often doubling or tripling in support relative to March 2021, likely winning the support of many voters who had last year backed Naftali Bennett’s Yamina.
This trend was observed in Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion, Beersheba, Netanya, Hadera, Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona and more.
In the religious, liberal Givat Shmuel — the only locality in which Yamina won the most votes in March 2021 — many of the voters switched to Religious Zionism, which became the top party there with 24% (up from 15%). Jewish Home, led by former Yamina No. 2 Ayelet Shaked and by Givat Shmuel Mayor Yossi Brodny, won 9.2% of the votes this time, though it is far below the electoral threshold nationwide.
In major Arab towns, support for the Islamist Ra’am party remained similar to last year, while support for the former Joint List split between Hadash-Ta’al and Balad. The latter broke away from the alliance and seems set to pay for the move by failing to enter the next Knesset.
In Umm al-Fahm, the Joint List won 80.5% in the previous elections and Ra’am won 13.7%. This time, Hadash-Ta’al won 40.6%, Balad won 37.9%, and Ra’am received 17.4%. In Nazareth, in contrast, Ra’am lost some support (from 23.9% to 21.7%) and the collective strength of Hadash-Ta’al and Balad (71.3%) was higher than that of the Joint List last year (64.7%).