Final Results of Histadrut Elections Announced; Confirm Early Reports

Final results of the September 20 elections to the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, were published today. They confirmed initial reports of a sharp drop for Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Mapai-Achdut Avodah alignment slate. The Histadrut central election committee also reported that 77.6 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

The elections were the first since extensive reshuffling of Israel’s political parties in recent months, which included the emergence of a dissident Israel Workers list (Rafi) formed by Former Premier David Ben-Gurion in a challenge to Premier Eshkol’s leadership of Mapai, and the formation of a joint Liberal-Herut list (Gahal) which brought the rightwing Herut party into the Histadrut elections for the first time. Histadrut election results are considered forecasts to some degree of results in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections which will take place on November 2.

The final results gave the alignment slate 50.8 percent and Rafi 12.1 percent. The initial results announced on September 20 were 50.5 for the alignment ticket and 13 percent for Rafi. According to the final results, the alignment vote and the Rafi vote totaled 62.9 percent. In the prior Histadrut elections in 1929, the two labor parties, running separately as Mapai and Achdut Avodah, polled 72 percent of the votes.

The Gahal ticket, which was reported in initial results to have won 17.5 percent, was listed today as receiving 15.2 percent, making it still the second largest political force in the Histadrut. In the final tally, the leftwing Mapam took 14.5 percent, as against the preliminary figure of 13 percent. In the 1959 Histadrut poll, Mapam won 14 percent.

The Independent Liberal slate, made up of Liberals who refused to Join with Herut in the Gahal ticket, polled 4.4 percent compared with the initial result of 4.7 percent. The two Communist factions polled together 2.7 percent in the final tally. In 1959, a united Communist party polled 2.8 percent.

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