Between electoral and urban geography: Voting patterns and socio-spatial dynamics in Tel Aviv

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For decades, political geographers have extensively used electoral data to study voting behavior and political preferences. And yet, this information has been largely unnoticed by researchers in other sub-disciplines in geography. The aim of this exploratory paper is to use electoral data to study urban socio-spatial dynamics and corroborate them with existing knowledge on spatial divisions. Taking the case of the Tel Aviv electorate, we analyzed voting behavior in five Israeli general elections, alternating between those of 1984 and 2013. To look into partisanship diversity, voting patterns for the two historically largest parties (Labor and Likud) and for two parties situated on the opposite sides of the political spectrum (Meretz and Shas), were examined. The tendency to vote for center-right parties has remained stable in Tel Aviv's deprived southern neighborhoods; in the privileged northern section, support of traditional center-left parties was replaced by greater support of newly-formed center parties. An inner-city electorate has shown an ever-growing tendency to vote for center-left parties. Stability and moderate change in voting behavior are associated with stable demographic composition whereas significant change is related to demographic transition. Overall, the intra-urban geography of the vote encompasses a new interpretation of recognized socio-spatial divisions. Voting patterns are useful proxies for socio-economic data taking advantage of a more frequent and greater availability of electoral data in comparison to more conventional data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Election results
  • Political leanings
  • Tel aviv
  • Urban socio-spatial processes
  • Vote

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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