Parliamentary Chamber: Knesset


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  23 June 1992

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following dissolution of this body on 4 February 1992. General elections had previously been held in November 1998.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1992 elections, normally not due before November, were moved up following agreement on the June date between prime Minister Itzhak Shamir (Likud party) and the Labour Party - led opposition. Shortly before, on 19 January, the Likud-led bloc had lost its overall Knesset majority after two small extreme-right parties had left the coalition to protest against the plan to grant autonomy to the Palestinian population in Israeli-occupied territories.

The Labour Party was headed by Mr. Itzhak Rabin, a former Prime Minister, who had succeeded Mr. Shimon Peres. It led consistently in pre-election public-opinion polls over its traditional rival as Likud had been hurt, among other things, by Israel’s economic problems, especially unemployment. A key question mark was the voter affiliation of the many first-time voters, particularly the thousands of immigrants from the ex-USSR. Debate during the relatively peaceful campaign was dominated by issues of national security and the fate of the Israeli-occupied territories. Likud opposed Palestinian self-rule and was committed to further construction of Jewish settlements in these territories, while Labour favoured implementation of Palestinian autonomy. Labour moreover laid considerable emphasis on the personality, political and military record of Mr. Rabin, and on his pragmatic approach to the ongoing Middle East peace talks. Altogether 25 parties submitted lists of candidates.

On polling day, Labour won a clear majority over the Likud-led alliance, 44 seats to 32. No single party gained an absolute majority, which rendered the support of minor groups vital. This time, Labour secured the alliance of Meretz and two smaller left-wing Arab parties to arrive at an overall total of 61 Knesset seats - one more than required. Likud thus surrendered the reins of government which it had held since 1977. On 13 July, Prime Minister Rabin and his new Labour-denominated Cabinet were approved by the new Knesset.

Round no 1 (23 June 1992): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 3,409,015
Voters 2,637,943 (77.38%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 21,102
Valid votes 2,616,841

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Labour Party 120 906,810 34.6
Likud 119 651,229 24.9
Meretz* 120 250,667 9.5
Tsomet 48 166,366 6.3
National Religious Party (Mafdal) 120 129,663 4.9
Shas 94 129,347 4.9
United Torah Judaism** 99 86,167 3.2
Moledet 120 62,269 2.3
Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) 120 62,546 2.3
Arab Democratic Party 118 40,788 1.5

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Labour Party 44 +5
Likud 32 -8
Meretz* 12 +2
Tsomet 8 +6
National Religious Party (Mafdal) 6 +1
Shas 6 =
United Torah Judaism** 4 -3
Moledet 3 +1
Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) 3 -1
Arab Democratic Party 2 +1

  * A coalition of three left-wing parties, formed in February 1992.
** A coalition of two ultra-orthodox Jewish parties, formed in early 1992.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 109
Women: 11

Distribution of seats according to age:  
30-39 years 17
40-49 years 44
50-59 years 39
60-69 years 17
70 and over 3

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Legal 21
Businessmen 21
Teaching 16
Social sciences 12
Agriculture 9
Civil servants 6
Engineering 5
Humanities 5
Rabbis 5
Journalism 4
Geology 1
Medicine 1

  No data on remaining 14 members.

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Copyright 1992 Inter-Parliamentary Union