Mrs. Meir’s Israel Labor Party Loses Histadrut Council Seats in Election

The Labor Party, led by Premier Golda Meir, suffered a severe blow in this week’s Histadrut elections, nearly final returns show. Although Mrs. Meir’s party retained control of the General Federation of Labor, it will have fewer seats in the next Histadrut Council.

Instead of the 77.5 percent of the seats held in the outgoing Council by the three parties that merged last year and the fourth that joined them to form the “alignment” in the Histadrut, they will now hold about 61.99.

The country wide Histadrut elections were followed with particular interest because its members make up about half of the citizens who will vote in the Knesset election to be held in October, Only 65 percent of the one million eligible to vote in the Histadrut election cast ballots.

The gains were divided among the smaller parties. Among them were Gahal. the Herut-Liberal coalition, which garnered 17.19 percent, and the two Communist parties, which together got nearly four percent. Probably the biggest surprise was the emergence of a new party, the State List, put together by former Premier David Ben-Gurion, which got 3.73 percent.

It is not certain that the results of this week’s vote will be a forecast of the national elections, slated Oct. 28. But there are indications already that Labor Party leaders are trying to asses the causes of their setback in order to prevent its repetition next month.

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