Pensioners Party, Green-Meimad Fall Short of Knesset

The Green Movement-Meimad and the Pensioners Party failed to pass the vote percentage threshold and will not be represented in the next Knesset.

The Pensioners Party received a mere 0.5 percent of the vote, while Meimad, which formerly ran as part of Labor's list, received 0.8 percent. Ephraim Sneh broke off from the Labor Party to try to establish the anti-crime party, Strong Israel.

Pundits believe that most of centrist and left wing voters, from which the bulk of these two parties' supporters came, went to Kadima chair Tzipi Livni, while the fighting in Gaza rendered them irrelevant. Meimad leader Michael Melchior, one of the outgoing Knesset's prominent members, could not find a larger faction to join this election campaign and ran on a joint list with the Green Movement.

Flash in the pan

Despite the list's high-profile Internet campaign, it failed to garner a sufficient number of votes.

The Pensioners Party, which gleaned an unexpected seven Knesset seats in the previous elections, proved a flash in the pan. Riddled with quarrels and splits, and burdened with former chairman Moshe Sharoni, who had a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, it rapidly lost voter support.

Notwithstanding, the faction raised the pensioners' rights issue to the Knesset's agenda. It led to the establishment of a special ministry for pensioners' affairs and initiated several budgetary increments for people above 65.

Shortly before the elections party chair Rafi Eitan replaced all its members, but this move proved to be too little, too late, and failed to stave off the collapse.