How to read Israeli election results

I’ve got a report in today’s Crikey on the Israeli election. The figures are already a bit dated, although not so as to fundamentally change anything I said. I’ll update it later; in the meantime, here’s how to follow the result yourself.

The Israeli government has realtime results online, here. Unfortunately they’re in Hebrew. But it’s fairly straightforward; don’t try to decipher the names, just look at the party initials, in the second column from the right (remember, Hebrew is read from right to left). Then compare them with the Central Elections Committee’s list. The top six, in order, are Likud-Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Labor, Shas, Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) and United Torah Judaism; that order’s unlikely to change, although Shas and Jewish Home might conceivably swap places.

That gives you the current percentages of the vote (and the total counted, which is the middle figure at the top – it’s a percentage of enrolment, not turnout, so 63% is not far off final). To get the allocation of seats you need to do a D’Hondt calculation, which is easy if you’ve got a spreadsheet. Just set out the numbers of votes for every party that’s above 2%; divide each figure by some common divisor (try 24,000); add up the results that you get, ignoring all remainders. If the total is 120, you’re done; if it’s not, keep adjusting the divisor up or down until it is.

Here’s the most recent result I got:

Likud-Beiteinu    31
Yesh Atid    19
Labor    15
Shas    12
Jewish Home    11
United Torah Judaism    7
Hatnuah    6
Meretz    6
United Arab List    4
Hadash    4
Balad    3
Kadima    2

That’s a total of 61 for the right, 48 for the centre/centre-left and 11 for the non-Zionist parties. Late votes come mostly from the military, so tend to favor the right – I’d guess Likud might pick up another seat at the expense of Labor or Hadash.

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