(April 10, 2019 / JNS) The number of ballots cast for parties that will not pass the electoral threshold necessary to win any seats in Israel’s 21st Knesset could be the highest in Israeli history—approximately 325,000—the equivalent of 10 parliamentary seats.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party appears to have edged out former Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party, and is expected to have sufficient support from center and right-wing parties to form a coalition government.
Far down the list, former head of the Jewish Home Party Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s New Right Party was reported to have garnered 127,000 votes—just 4,300 shy of 4 Knesset seats by midday on Wednesday.
The Zehut Party, led by underdog candidate Moshe Feiglin, was predicted to win as many as eight seats by pollsters prior to the election, but received approximately 101,000 votes. Orly Levi-Abekasis’ Gesher Party received more than 70,000 votes.
Some 200,000 votes from diplomats and soldiers were still being counted on Wednesday.
There were also multiple parties that garnered less than 5,000 seats each.
Internet star Semion Grafman received approximately 4,350 votes. The Arab list headed by Muhammad Kanaan received 4,083. Former IDF Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch’s Magen Party got a little more than 3,000 votes, and Oren Hazan’s Tzomet Party got at least 2,300 votes. The Israeli pensioners party received 1,000-plus votes.
At least 16 registered parties received between 244 and 194 ballots each.
Until now, the highest number of votes cast for failed parties were counted in 2013, with 266,205 wasted votes.