Likud Proposes Raising Electoral Threshold

YERUSHALAYIM -

In a move to further narrow the electoral field, a Likud MK proposed on Thursday that the minimum share of the total vote for a party to qualify for representation in the Knesset should be raised from 3.25 percent to 7 percent.

In 2014, the threshold was raised from 2 percent to 3.25.

The change had been advocated by good governance groups for years, arguing that fewer small parties would allow for greater stability in maintaining coalition governments.

In the last elections, the change led to the three small Arab parties—Balad, Hadash and Ta’al—coalescing into the Joint List, which made it one of the largest factions in the current Knesset with 13 seats. As such it produced the opposite of the effect intended by backers in Yisrael Beytenu who had hoped it would eliminate the Arab MKs.

Zionist Camp MK Yoel Hasson came out in favor of the idea and said he would try to persuade his party to back it.

“Finally a smart initiative that comes from Likud,” Hasson said. “We must return to having two large parties in Israel.”

Whether the Zionist Camp would be one of them, is highly doubtful, according to the most recent poll, which showed it at an historical low of 8 seats if elections were held today, putting it behind Likud, Yesh Atid, Jewish Home, Joint List and UTJ.