Herzog elected prime minister of Tel Aviv

Breakdowns of individual municipalities' voting patterns offer mostly predictable results; Gaza-border communities vote Zionist Union.

March 18, 2015 15:02
3 minute read.
Issac Herzog

Issac Herzog votes in Tel Aviv accompanied by his wife, Michal.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog would be prime minister of the State of Tel Aviv – forming an easy coalition, considering his party would receive 41 seats and Meretz 16.

While national results from Tuesday’s election gave a resounding win to the Likud’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, microcosms in communities around the country painted a different picture. Most were as expected, with settlements awarding big leads to Bayit Yehudi, and haredi cities handing victories to Shas and United Torah Judaism.

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Many of the small Gaza border communities voted overwhelmingly for the Zionist Union, desperate for a change after years of rocket fire.

In Tel Aviv, the Likud would have pulled a respectable 22 seats, but Bayit Yehudi just skated past the 3.25 percent electoral threshold there, and the Joint (Arab) List, Yisrael Beytenu, Yahad and UTJ all fell beneath.

In Jerusalem, the Likud got about 24% of the vote, similar to its national results, but UTJ was the second most-popular party, garnering 21% of the vote, which would translate to 25 Knesset seats. Shas got 12% while the Zionist Union received only 10%, much lower than its national 19%. In the capital, both Yisrael Beytenu and the Joint List would fall beneath the electoral threshold. Arab residents of east Jerusalem who are not Israeli citizens are permitted to vote in local elections, but not national ones.

Voters in many of the Gaza border communities that were hardest hit by rocket fire from Gaza last summer came out in droves for the Zionist Union; 66% of Kibbutz Be’eri, 52% of Kibbutz Nirim, 57% of Kibbutz Nahal Oz and 64% of Kibbutz Kfar Aza picked Herzog. In Sderot, however, 43% voted for the Likud and only 7.5% for the Zionist Union. The Gaza-adjacent city also had a strong showing for Yisrael Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi.

In Haifa, the Zionist Union was the biggest vote getter, with 25%, the Likud garnered 21% and Yesh Atid 11%. Netanya voted strongly for the Likud, granting it 34% of the vote, and giving just 14% to the Zionist Union and 11% to Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu. Beersheba also gave a strong showing for the Likud with 38%, and just 12% to the Zionist Union.

Over in haredi stronghold Bnei Brak, UTJ got close to 60% of the vote, and Shas followed with 24%. Bayit Yehudi, the Zionist Union, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, Yesh Atid, and Meretz came in under the electoral threshold. Thirteen people in the city of more than 100,000 voted for the Joint List.

The hassidic enclave of Kfar Chabad posted slightly different results, with 75% of its 3,700 voters choosing the far-right Yahad. The only other parties passing the electoral threshold there were the Likud, UTJ and Bayit Yehudi.

The national-religious Bayit Yehudi did predictably well in settlements, particularly in the religious Etzion bloc. Efrat awarded the party 55% of its vote, Alon Shvut 65% and Neveh Daniel 63%. In Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel, the Likud had a strong showing, and in the haredi Modi’in Illit and Betar Illit, UTJ unsurprisingly took the No. 1 slot.

Arab municipalities also followed fairly predictable patterns, with the Joint List pulling overwhelming majorities across the board. Nazareth saw 92% voting for the Joint List, Rahat 89%, Sakhnin and Taibe both 96% and Umm el-Fahm 95%. The Druse town of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights has a population close to 9,000, but most have opted to keep their Syrian citizenship and not accept Israeli citizenship.

Of the 580 registered voters only 114 voted, mostly for the Likud or the Zionist Union.

Over in Daliyat al-Carmel, also a Druse community, however, Kulanu took the No. 1 spot, getting 38% of the vote, a result that would give him 45 Knesset seats. That result likely stems from the placement of native Akram Hasson at No. 12 on the party’s Knesset candidates list.

While nationally Aleh Yarok, the Green Leaf party, garnered just shy of 1% of the vote, there’s at least one municipality where it would have passed the electoral threshold: Eilat. Close to 800 voters in the city – 3.45% – voted for the marijuana-advocating list.

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