The left-wing Meretz Party likely did not pass the electoral threshold In Tuesday’s election and will remain outside of Israel’s 25th Knesset, according to data published by the Central Election Committee (CEC) after nearly 90% of the votes were counted on Wednesday.
Meretz leader Zehava Galon’s first response came on Wednesday evening.
“This is not an easy moment, and I know it is not for you either, but it is not yet time for conclusions and summaries,” Galon wrote on Twitter.
“Meretz is currently less than 0.1% under the electoral threshold. We have until Tuesday to go over thousands of election committee protocols in order to ensure that every vote is counted,” Galon wrote.
She attached to the tweet a form for supporters to volunteer to go through protocols. The sheet’s title was “[hope] is not lost.”
Where does Meretz stand?
As of 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Meretz stood at 3.19% of the general vote, below the requisite 3.25%. The remaining votes were approximately 570,000 “double-envelope” ones – votes that were cast in remote booths by IDF soldiers, election officials and policemen on duty during Election Day, diplomats serving abroad, people who voted in special accessible voting booths, COVID-19 patients who voted at specialized booths, and more.
The number of double envelopes is far higher than in previous elections and therefore it is still unclear what the final results will be. Traditionally, however, these votes, known colloquially as “the soldiers’ votes,” strengthen the Right, and therefore the likelihood is slim that Meretz will push across the threshold.
Even if Meretz passes, however, the bloc led by opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu will still be able to form a 61-seat coalition government, since Balad also did not pass the electoral threshold.
Meretz’s failure to pass the threshold will likely be attributed to Transportation Minister and Labor leader Merav Michaeli, who refused to merge with its sister party, and Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who took votes away from Meretz in the homestretch and did not assess correctly that Meretz was in danger of falling.
The party has been in every Knesset since its formation in 1992. At its zenith, it had 12 MKs.