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Israeli Legislative election, 2009
All 120 seats
February 11,2009
First Party Second Party Third Party
Tzipi Livni Benjamin Netanyahu Avigdor lieberman
Leader Tzipi Livni Benjamin Netanyahu Avigdor Lieberman
Party Kadima Likud Yisrael Beiteinu
Last election 29 12 11 Seats
Seats won 28 27 15
Seat change -1 +15 +4
Fourth Party Fifth Party
Barak Ehud Eli yishai
Leader Ehud Barak Eli Yishai
Party Labor Party(Israel) Shas
Last election 19 Seats 12 Seats
Seats won 13 11
Seat change -6 -1
Incumbent Prime Minister
Tzipi Livni
Prime Minister-Elect
Tzipi Livni

The Israeli 2009 Legislative(Knesset) elections is to occur on February 10th 2009. These elections would have occurred in 2010 had not the Prime Minister resigned, due to the failure of an attempt to form a coalition government. Netanyahu's Likud is to head the coaltiion government, despite having one less seat then Kadima. This is due to the fact that right wing parties have more seats then other parties.

Background Edit

After Tzipi Livni won Kadima's leadership election she was unable to form a coalition with other parties, Particularly Shas. Only the Labor Party(Israel) accepted the offer which was not enough.

The traditional distinction between the Israeli left and the right has been blurred, with both the voters and the main candidates gravitating toward the center. Their was an attempt to ban the Arab parties from the election after the debacle in Gaza but the Israeli Supreme Court over turned this action.

Political Parties Running Edit


Labor Party(Israel)




Right WingEdit


Yisrael Beiteinu







Opinion Polls Before Election Edit

The most opinion polls predicted that Likud will most likely be the biggest winner. Most also predicted Labor losing considerable power and the ultra-right wing parties gaining more power as a consequence of the Gaza Strip Conflict.[1]

The polls predicted these results

Likud: 27(+)

Kadima: 25 Seats(-)

Yisrael Beiteinu: 18 Seats(+)

Labor: 14 Seats(-)

All Arab Parties: 11 Seats(+)

Shas: 9 Seats(-)

Jewish Home-National Union: 6 Seats(in total) (-)

United Torah Judaism: 6 Seats (Same)

Gil: 0 Seats (-)

Results Edit

The elections occurred on the 10th. The Labor was forced back to 4th place and nationalists will gain far more power. [2] Both Likud and Kadima claimed victory at this point and final results where still pending. After all the results came in some Kadima officials said "we won the battle but lost the war." Kadima managed to keep most of their seats but Anti-Ageism party Gil lost all 7 of theirs. Labor lost 6 seats. The process of coalition building will begin soon. Kadima preformed better then expected and Likud and Yisrael Benitseu preformed slightly worse then expected.

Likud, despite having one less seat then Kadima, will lead the new government. This is has occurred due to right-wing parties getting more seats then moderate and left wing ones. Netanyahu is encouraging moderates to join his coalition. [3]

Dov Kenin, a Hadash MP, described the results like this

The elections gave an electoral picture of the complete deadlock of the Labour and Kadima government, in both political and social-economic issues. So Israeli voters really punished both Kadima and Labour, and elected a right wing government, without any real enhusiasm. The moderate zionists including Meretz fared very badly[4]

Israel flag Israel Israel flag
Summary of the February 10, 2009 Israeli Knesset election results
Parties Leaders Seats +/ –
Kadima Kadima (Centrist) Tzipi Livni 28 -1
LikudLikud (Right Wing) Benjamin Netanyahu 27 +15
Israel-beytenuYisrael Beiteinu (Ultra-Right Wing) Avigdor Lieberman 15 +4
Labor (Israel) logoLabor Party (Social Democrat) Ehud Barak 13 -6
Shas logoShas (Right Wing) Eli Yishai 11 -1
Jewish Home/National Union (Right Wing) Daniel Hershkovitz 7 -2
United Torah Judaism (Right Wing) Yaakov Litzman 5 -1
Ta'al/Arab List (Arab Interests) Ibrahim Sarsur 4 0
HadashHadash (Arab Interests/Communism) Mohammad Barakeh 4 +1
Balad (Arab Interests/Social Democracy) Jamal Zahalka 3 0
NewmovemeretzMeretz (Social Democracy/Green Politics) Haim Oron 3 -2
Gil (Anti-Ageism) Rafi Eitan 0 -7

Coalition Creation Edit

On 16 March 2009, Netanyahu signed a coalition agreement with Yisrael Beitenu, then got an extension of the coalition negotation deadline from 20 March to 3 April 2009; he then signed a coalition agreement with Shas on 22 March 2009,[ and on 24 March 2009 it appeared he had been able to secure the support of the Labor Party, though large parts of the party remained sceptical about this, accusing Barak of only being interested in his own benefits under the deal. Labor's party commitee approved the deal with 680 to 507 votes in favour on the same day.On 25 March 2009, The Jewish Home also joined the coalition.

On March 30, in accordance with the Israeli Basic Law: the government, Netanyahu has officially informed Israeli President, Shimon Peres, and acting speaker of the Knesset (parliament), Michael Eitan, that he was able to form a Government, and the Knesset was set to convene on 31 March 2009, in order to vote on the government in a "Vote of Confidence" and to be sworn in thereafter . The 32nd Government was approved that day by a majority of 69 lawmakers

Members of the new Coalition

  • Likud(leader)
  • Yisrael Beitenu
  • Shas
  • Labor Party
  • Jewish Home