Central Elections Committee confirmed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s party as the largest after the last general election, with final results giving it 36 seats to rival Blue and White’s 33.
The full results, published by the committee after delays in checking a number of polling stations and ballot boxes, also confirmed, however, that the right-wing bloc of parties supporting Netanyahu had won 58 seats, three short of a majority needed to form a coalition.
While a total of 30 parties ran in the election — the third in a year — the final results gave seats to only eight, the lowest number to enter the Knesset in Israel’s history. Of the 4,612,297 Israelis who voted, over 56 percent voted for just two parties — Likud and Blue and White, which collectively received 2,566,272 individual ballots.
Total voter turnout stood at 71.32 percent of the 6,453,255 eligible voters, an increase of 1.59 points from September’s 69.83% turnout and of 2.86 points from April’s 68.46% participation rate. With the electoral threshold for entering the Knesset being 3.25% of the total vote, parties needed at least 149,004 votes to win parliamentary representation, with each of the 120 Knesset seats worth around 38,000 votes.
For now, with all of the votes counted, checked and rechecked, Netanyahu’s Likud party finished out front with 29.48% to win 36 seats in the Knesset, and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White gained 33 seats with 26.59% of the ballots. The results represent a three-seat increase for Likud since the April 2019 election, while Blue and White keeps the same number of MKs.
In third place, the Joint List succeeded in increasing its 13 seats to 15, winning 577,355 votes and 12.61% of the total vote, the most in the party’s history.
After the Joint List came Aryeh Deri’s ultra-Orthodox Shas party with 7.70% of the vote and nine seats, matching the number it won in September. With 5.98% of the vote, fellow ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism won seven seats, also identical to the number it received in September 2019.
Also finishing with seven seats with almost the same amount of votes as UTJ, the left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz union dropped from the nine seats that Labor-Gesher and Meretz, running separately, collectively won in September; while Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu dropped from eight seats to seven.
Dropping from the seven seats it won in April to six, the right-wing Yamina party, made up of the New Right, Jewish Home and National Union factions, is now set to be the smallest party in the new Knesset.
The far-right Otzma Yehudit party, which ran together with Jewish Home and National Union in the April election as the Union of Right-Wing Parties, fell well short of the 3.25% electoral threshold, winning 19,334 votes — just 0.42% of Monday’s total vote.
The totals give Likud and its allies — Shas, UTJ and Yamina — 58 seats combined.
While the centrist Blue and White, the right-wing secularist Yisrael Beytenu, the left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz and the predominantly Arab Joint List together have a majority in the parliament with 62 seats, they are seen as having virtually no chance of coming together to form a government.
Following is a complete list of seats, vote percentage and total votes received by each of the 30 parties that ran in the March 2 election for the 23rd Knesset:
Vote share: 29.48%
Knesset seats: 36
Blue and White
Vote share: 26.59%
Knesset seats: 33
Vote share: 12.61%
Knesset seats: 15
Vote share: 7.70%
Knesset seats: 9
United Torah Judaism
Vote share: 5.98%
Knesset seats: 7
Vote share: 5.84%
Knesset seats: 7
Vote share: 5.74%
Knesset seats: 7
Vote share: 5.25%
Knesset seats: 6