The non-Jewish vote in Israel in 1992

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In the Israeli general election of June 1992, non-Jewish voters comprised 12.3 percent of the electorate. Theoretically, this would be sufficient to elect 15 non-Jewish members to the Knesset if there was a united effort to elect only Arab representatives. However, three Arab-supported parties took only 4.88 percent of the valid vote and won five (4.17 percent) of the 120 seats in the Knesset. This understatement of potential electoral strength is due almost entirely to low voter turnout, unfocused voting patterns among non-Jewish voters who, in addition to voting for the three predominantly non-Jewish parties, also cast their votes for the full range of Jewish (Zionist) parties, and the inability of the Arab parties to agree on distribution of their surplus votes among themselves. It would not be improper to say that the distribution of the Arab votes in Israel defies statistical explanation. Statistical analysis of the voting shows that it is extremely difficult to explain or predict the electoral behaviour of the Arab population in Israel, as neither geographical nor socio-economic variables reveal any clear pattern. This study indicates the need for detailed investigations relating directly to local and neighbourhood effects in the Arab vote in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-558
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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