ISRAEL ELECTIONS 101
Israel has a parliamentary system based on nation-wide proportional representation. This means that voters elect nationally-registered political factions—not local candidates.
Each faction receives representation in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament) proportional to how many votes it gets. Factions must meet a threshold of at least 3.25 percent of the vote to qualify for seats in the Knesset. Factions may determine their own list of candidates, including by internal election or appointment.
Knesset elections must be held once every four years, though many coalitions do not survive a full term. In moments of political instability or stalemate, a majority of the Knesset may vote to dissolve the body and call early elections to be held 90-150 days later.
Israeli voter turnout is traditionally very high—between 60 and 80 percent.
After an election, Israel’s president consults with faction leaders and selects the Knesset member most likely to form a viable coalition government of 61 or more seats. This member is often, but not required to be, the leader of the faction that has won the most seats. The selected member then has 42 days to negotiate with other factions and form a coalition, which is presented to the Knesset for a vote of confidence. If they succeed, that member becomes the next prime minister.
When are the elections?
- March 17, 2015
Can I support a candidate or a party?
- See our Israeli campaign financing guide.
Nice poll graphs, but why do you use blue for the left and red for the right?
While blue is assigned to conservative parties in much of the world, our election site is primarily a guide for an American audience, which recognizes blue as the color of the political left and red as the color of the political right. Sorry for any confusion this causes our global readers.