At stake in this election:
- The 120 seats in the Knesset
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Reuven RIVLIN*
- Head of Government: Rosh HAMEMSHALA**
- Assembly: Israel has a unicameral Knesset with 120 seats.
* The president is largely a ceremonially role.
** After parliamentary elections, the president will usually select a prime minister that he/she feels has the best possibility of forming a new government.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by parliament to serve a 7-year term.
- Prime Minister is designated by the president to serve a 4-year term.
- In the Knesset 120 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** There is a 3.25% threshold required to gain representation. All candidates run in one, nationwide district.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Bloc: Likud
- Leaders: Benjamin NETANYAHU
- Number of Seats won in last election: 19*
- Bloc: Yisrael Beiteinu
- Leaders: Avigdor LIBERMAN
- Number of Seats won in last election: 12**
- Party: Meretz
- Leader: Zahava GAL-ON
- Number of Seats won in last election: 6
- Party: Jewish Home
- Leader: Naftali BENNETT
- Number of Seats won in last election: 12
- Party: Shas
- Leader: Aryeh DERI
- Number of Seats won in last election: 11
- Party: Yesh Atid
- Leader: Yair LAPID
- Number of Seats won in last election: 19
- Party: Hatnuah
- Leader: Tzipi LIVNI
- Number of Seats won in last election: 6 *
- Alliance: United Torah Judaism ***
- Leader: Yakov Litzman
- Number of Seats won in last election: 7
- Alliance: United Arab List - Ta’al ****
- Leader: Ibrahim SARSUR
- Number of Seats won in last election: 3
- Party: Balad
- Leader: Jamal ZAHALKA
- Number of Seats won in last election: 3
- Party: Kulanu
- Leader: Moshe KAHLON
- Number of Seats won in last election: N/A
- Party: Kadima
- Leader: Shaul MOFAZ
- Number of Seats won in last election: 2
- Party: Hadash
- Leader: Mohammad BARAKE
- Number of Seats won in last election: 4
*The Hatunah Party will run on a joint list with the Labor Party led by Isaac HERZOG, and take turns as Prime Minister if they win. The Labor Party won 15 seats in the 2013 election.
** Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu announced on 25 October 2012 that they would run as a unified bloc in the 2013 Parliamentary election. Together they garnered 31 seats in parliament. The alliance was officially dissolved in July 2014.
*** This party is an alliance of two Ultra-Orthodox parties, Degel HaTorah and Agudat Israel.
**** An Israeli Arab political party, the United Arab List has run with another party Ta’al (The Arab Movement for Renewal) since the 2006 elections.
- The last election for the Knesset was held on 22 January 2013. 3,834,136 people voted in the election, a 67% voter turnout rate.[i] Likud Yisrael Beiteinu won 31 seats (of 120), while Yesh Atid won 19 seats, the Israeli Labor Party won 15 seats, the Jewish Home—National Union Party won 12 seats, Shas won 11 seats, United Torah Judaism won 7 seats, Hatnuah won 6 seats, Meretz won 6 seats, the United Arab List—Arab Movement for Renewal won 4 seats, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality won 4 seats, the National Democratic Assembly won 3 seats, and Kadima won 2 seats.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 7,821,850*
- Registered Voters: 5,656,705 (2012 est.)[ii]
*Approximately 341,400 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2012); approximately 18,900 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2012); approximately 196,400 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2011) (July 2014 est.)[iii]
- Female Population: 3,898,266[iv]
- Is Israel a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)[v]
- Has Israel ratified CEDAW: Yes (3 October 1991)[vi]
- Gender Quota: Voluntary Political Party Quotas are in place but there are no legislated quotas.
- Female Candidates in this election: Yes
- Number of Female Legislators: 26 (22%) of 120 seats in the KNESSET
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position:19
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Not ranked
- Is Israel a signatory to CRPD: Yes (20 March 2007)
- Has Israel ratified CRPD: Yes (28 September 2012)