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8.7% of votes went to parties that failed to enter Knesset, the highest in over 3 decades

Electoral official arrange ballots in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba during Israeli elections, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Electoral official arrange ballots in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba during Israeli elections, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Close to nine percent of votes in last week’s election went to parties that didn’t clear the minimum threshold to enter the Knesset, the highest percentage since at least 1988, a new analysis says.

According to Israel Democracy Institute research fellow Ofer Kenig, 8.7% of total ballots cast — amounting to some 410,000 votes — went to factions that will not be in the new parliament, most notably the left-wing Meretz and Arab nationalist Balad. Together, the parties received around 300,000 votes.

The election with the second highest number of so-called wasted ballots in the analysis, which went back to 1988, was in April 2019, when 8.5% of votes went to parties that did not get enough support to enter the Knesset.

In the three other elections between the April 2019 vote and this most recent one, the percentages were 2.9%, 0.8% and 1.5%, respectively.

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