Israel elections: Arab sector voting at all-time low - poll

Last year the Israeli-Arab population voting percentage dropped to 44.6%, an all-time low.

 JOINT LIST leader MK Ayman Odeh stands and shouts his objections during a debate in the Knesset, as Ra’am leader MK Mansour Abbas sits to the left. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
JOINT LIST leader MK Ayman Odeh stands and shouts his objections during a debate in the Knesset, as Ra’am leader MK Mansour Abbas sits to the left.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Fewer Israeli-Arab citizens who are eligible to vote in the upcoming election to the Knesset plan to do so than in the last election, a MAKAN 33 poll published on Sunday evening has found.

The poll, conducted by the Statnet Research Institute for the state-owned Arabic-language television channel, found that only 39% of Israeli-Arabs plan to vote in November, the lowest ever figure for voting among Arab citizens.

To compare, last year the Israeli-Arab population voting percentage dropped to 44.6%, an all-time low, surpassing the previous low of 49.2% recorded by the Israel Democracy Institute in April 2019.

In contrast, in the third election in Israel's ongoing political crisis in December 2019, voting among Israeli-Arabs reached an unprecedented high of 64.8%. The Joint List received 15 mandates at the time.

However, this poll estimates that the next elections will end with the Joint List receiving only five seats while Ra'am will have four.

 Ra'am MK Mazen Ghanaim is seen speaking with Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi in the Knesset, on January 5, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Ra'am MK Mazen Ghanaim is seen speaking with Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi in the Knesset, on January 5, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

How does this affect Netanyahu?

The lack of Arab participation and lack of mandates for the Arab parties could help Benjamin Netanyahu's bloc receive 61 mandates, thus enabling him to form a government. The poll also states that the Likud Party will even receive a mandate and a half from Arab voters.

The poll estimates that if Balad runs separately from the Joint List, the Arab parties will weaken, with the Joint List receiving only four mandates in this scenario – just barely crossing the electoral threshold, similar to Ra'am. 

The Balad Party by itself would not be able to cross the threshold, according to the poll. This would leave the Arab parties with eight seats compared to the ten they have in the current Knesset.