Who does your vote really elect? The candidates on the cusp - analysis

Your vote will not go to the number one candidate on the list, unless you vote for a party that crosses the 3.25% electoral threshold because of your ballot.

April 8, 2019 15:21
3 minute read.

An Israeli soldier chooses a ballot from behind a voting booth at an army base near the southern city of Ofakim March 15. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Ahead of Tuesday’s election, the different parties have all been competing for your votes in ads on social media, billboards and the official ads that ran on TV.

Chances are, you have seen plenty of pictures of the party leaders alongside their campaign slogans.

And chances are you have not seen too many pictures of who you will actually be voting for on Election Day.

Your vote will not go to the number one candidate on the list, unless you vote for a party that crosses the 3.25% electoral threshold thanks to your ballot.

You are choosing your party’s last Knesset member, not its first. That is why making an educated decision on what party to select involves looking not at the top of the list but at the cusp in the polls.

Friday’s polls were the last to be published by law ahead of the election, so those are the numbers that voters have to go on.

So who are the candidates on the cusp in the polls?

In Blue and White, which gets 28 to 32 seats in the polls, the candidates on the cusp are former police investigations department head Yoav Segalovich, National Union of Israeli Students head Ram Shefa, former Yesh Atid MK Boaz Toporovsky, former Culture and Sports Ministry director-general Orly Froman and former Ra’anana mayor Eitan Ginzburg.

In Likud, the cusp candidates who are 26th to 30th on the list are Likud MK Mickey Zohar, Bayit Yehudi MK Eli Ben-Dahan, MK Sharren Haskel, and former ministerial aides Michal Shir and Keti Sheetrit.

Blue and White has been emphasizing that it is more important to vote to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than elect Labor’s next candidate. Current polls give the party eight to eleven seats, which would elect current MKs Omer Bar-Lev, Revital Swid, and Haim Yellin and Labor secretary-general Eran Hermoni.

In Hadash-Ta’al, which gets five to seven seats, your votes would go to Jewish left-wing activist Ofer Kasif, MK Yousef Jabareen, and Salah Sondos, an ally of MK Ahmed Tibi, who is a businesswoman and social activist.

In the Union of Right-wing Parties, the sixth seat would return former MK Orit Struck to the Knesset and the seventh, her neighbor in Hebron, Itamar Ben-Gvir of the far-Right Otzma Yehudit.

Shas’s borderline MKs, fifth to seventh on the list, are MKs Yoav Ben-Tzur and Michael Milkaeli, and Shas leader Arye Deri’s chief of staff Moshe Arbel, who is a lawyer and rabbi who studied at Harvard.

United Torah Judaism MKs Yaakov Asher and Yisrael Eichler are sixth and seventh on their list, followed by former Jerusalem deputy mayor Yitzhak Pindrus, whose parents are from Cleveland and Boston.

In the New Right, former Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick is teetering in sixth place on the list that gets five in most polls.

Zehut’s borderline candidates are mens rights activist Ronit Dror, who is fourth on the list, education specialist Libby Molad, who is fifth, party director-general and right-wing activist Shai Malka, who is sixth and Dr. Rafael Mines, a lecturer in physics at Ariel University, who is seventh.

In Meretz, your vote would not go to party leader Tamar Zandberg but to its 4th to 6th candidates, MK Issawi Frej, Druze activist Ali Shalalha, and Ethiopian Tel Aviv deputy mayor Mehereta Baruch-Ron.

The remaining parties may not make the Knesset at all, so even the first candidate on the list is in danger of not making the Knesset. That includes Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon, Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, Gesher head Orly Levy-Abecasis and United Arab List-Balad heads Mansour Abbas and Mtanes Shihadeh.

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