Thursday, January 24, 2013

Will Otzma's 61,825 Votes Affect 2017 Elections?

Will Otzma's 61,825 Votes Affect 2017 Elections?

Although the final tally has yet to be released, it seems that the Otzma LeYisrael party has failed to break the threshold and will not make it into the 19th Knesset. But judging by recent history, the large amount of votes may prompt other party leaders to approach Otzma LeYisrael for the upcoming 2017 elections.

In 2006 Hevron based activist Baruch Marzel ran with the Hazit party. Marzel was considered too nationalistic for parties with similar ideology such as the National Union or National Religious Party (today's Bayit Yehudi party). Hazit gained 24,824 votes, not enough to make the threshold.

In 2009, Marzel was still considered too outspoken, but the National Union felt pressured to prevent him from running separately and thus approached Hazit's number 3 candidate Dr. Michael Ben-Ari. The National Union earned 4 seats in the 2009 elections making Ben-Ari a Member of Knesset.

For the 2013 elections Ben-Ari ran together with MK Aryeh Eldad, also of the National Union. Following the creation of a joint list between the Bayit Yehudi and the National Union, Ben Ari and Eldad said they were not offered realistic positions and decided to run separately, taking Marzel as their number 3 candidate. They earned 61,825 votes, just missing the theshold. Otzma LeYisrael was the largest of the 32 parties to not make it into the Knesset.

It remains to be seen whether Otzma LeYisrael's large support will prompt either Bayit Yehudi, the National Union or other parties to apprach Ben-Ari and Eldad in the future.

Elections normally take place every four years. The next election will most likely be in 2017 barring a Knesset vote to hold early elections.

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