Record Number of 'Wasted' Votes in Israeli Election for Parties That Failed to Enter Knesset

366,016 votes went to parties that did not pass the electoral threshold, amounting to 8.49 percent of all valid votes

File photo: Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked deliver statements to members of the media, at the Knesset, November 19, 2018.
REUTERS/Amir Cohen

A record number of 366,016 votes went to parties that failed to pass the electoral threshold in the Israeli election, amounting to 8.49 percent of all valid votes.

The right-wing camp squandered the majority of the votes, after Moshe Feiglin's Zehut party and Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's Hayamin Hehadash party failed to garner at least 3.25 percent of all votes — which is the electoral threshold that represents some four Knesset seats — in order to secure parliamentary representation (32,860 votes were equal to one Knesset seat in this election).  

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Hayamin Hehadash got 138,594 votes, the highest number of "wasted" votes, followed by Zehut with 118,031 votes.

In addition, Orly Levi-Abekasis' Gesher party received 74,701 votes, and Oren Hazan's Tzomet, the new party he launched ahead of the election, gained 2,417 votes. Both parties failed to enter the Knesset, wasting together 77,118 votes.

Social media star Semion Grafman got 4,618 votes, and Brit Olam, the party that won the lowest number of votes in the election, garnered 216 votes. 

Among the parties that just passed the electoral threshold are Meretz with 156,473 votes, Kulanu with 152,756 votes and United Arab List-Balad, the party that received the lowest number of votes and still managed to enter the Knesset, trailing behind with 143,666 votes.   

In the 2015 general election, only 189,517 votes went to waste, amounting to 4.5 percent of all valid votes. In the 2013 election, in which the electoral threshold stood at 2 percent, 7.08 percent of the votes went to parties that failed to pass the electoral threshold.