Israeli Political Parties Had a Lot of Money Riding on Their Election Showings

Election financing is based on complex formula consisting of a one-time payment, plus additional figure based per Knesset member, based on average of number of MKs in outgoing, incoming parliament.

Gil Eliyahu

The results of Tuesday’s election not only boost Likud’s representation in the Knesset. They also boost the party’s finances. In the outgoing Knesset, the party had 18 members of parliament, while in the new one it appears that it will have 30, or perhaps 29. On the assumption that it is 30, the party will get election financing of nearly 34.4 million shekels ($8.6 million). Likud’s initial funding allocation was about 30 million shekels.

The election financing is actually based on a more complex formula consisting of a one-time payment of 1.37 million shekels in addition to 1.37 million shekels more per Knesset member, based on an average of the number of MKs in the outgoing and incoming parliament. The party’s debts are thought to be about 12 million shekels, in the form of bank loans. The loan payments will be made from separate regular funding from the Knesset, which is based on the number of Knesset members a party has, and is paid at 69,000 shekels per parliamentarian per month. Likud will therefore get about 2 million shekels per month in Knesset funding, compared to 1.2 million in the outgoing Knesset.

The Zionist Union - the Labor Party and Hatnuah’s joint slate - will get 32 million shekels in election campaign funding and 1.6 million in ongoing monthly financing. It has bank debts of about 12.5 million shekels, which is paid from ongoing Knesset financing.

The third largest showing in the election was that of the Joint List of the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and three Arab parties, which garnered about 14 seats, based on the data available at press time. The slate will get state election campaign funding of 18.6 million shekels and another 926,000 shekels in ongoing monthly funding. Ten parties in all have been projected to make it into the new Knesset.