ISRAEL
Parliamentary Chamber: Knesset

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1988

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Chamber:
  Knesset


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  1 November 1988


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  Primary contenders in the 1988 Knesset elections were once more the right-wing Likud bloc and the centre-left Alignment group, headed by the Labour Party and its leader, Mr. Shimon Peres. Likud was led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who by agreement had taken over this post from Mr. Peres mid-way through the 1984-1988 parliamentary term.

The two-month election campaign focused on the issue of the ways and means of achieving a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this connection, the Likud promoted the autonomy plan of the 1979 Camp David accords and opposed any contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while the Alignment favoured an international Middle East peace conference and stated its willingness to trade "land for peace" in the Israeli-occupied Arab territories.

On polling day, 15 of the 27 party lists in contention – which had nominated some 1,900 candidates – passed the Knesset qualifying threshold of 1%. The voting result left both major parties virtually even. Once again neither could form a Cabinet with the splinter parties, including the strengthened religious groups. Therefore, after lengthy deliberations, a national unity Government was set up for the second consecutive term. Only this time, with no rotation of the premiership, Mr. Shamir is to serve the full four-year term in office. Mr. Peres is Deputy Prime Minister in the new Cabinet announced in December.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (1 November 1988): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2,894,267
Voters 2,305,569 (79.66%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 22,444
Valid votes 2,283,125

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Likud 120 709,305 31.1
Alignment 118 685,365 30.0
Shas 94 107,709 4.7
Agudat Israel 99 102,714 4.5
Civil Rights and Peace Movement 118 97,513 4.3
National Religious Party 115 89,720 3.9
Democratic Front Communist Party 119 84,032 3.7
Hatehiya 119 70,730 3.1
Mapam 118 56,345 2.6
Zomet 118 45,489 2.0
Moledet 59 44,174 1.9
Shinui 116 39,538 1.7
Degel Hatora 74 34,279 1.5
Progressive Movement for Peace 120 33,695 1.5
Democratic Arabic Party 118 27,012 1.2

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Likud 40 -1
Alignment 39 -5
Shas 6 +2
Agudat Israel 5 +3
Civil Rights and Peace Movement 5 +2
National Religious Party 5 +1
Democratic Front Communist Party 4 +2
Hatehiya 3 -2
Mapam 3 +3
Zomet 2 -3
Moledet 2 +2
Shinui 2 -1
Degel Hatora 2 +2
Progressive Movement for Peace 1 -1
Democratic Arabic Party 1 +1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 113
Women: 7

Distribution of seats according to age:  
30-39 years 7
40-49 years 40
50-59 years 38
60-69 years 30
70 and over 5


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Legal 23
Pedagogy 19
Social sciences 16
Rabbis (certificated) 14
Agriculture 13
Civil servants 7
Businessmen 7
Humanities 6
Journalism 5
Engineering 5
Military 4
Geology 1


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Copyright 1988 Inter-Parliamentary Union