Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nisan 5766 - April 4, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Final Results: UTJ Wins 146,958 Votes

By Betzalel Kahn

Based on the final vote count, including crosschecking of ballots cast by soldiers and voters who cast their vote at handicapped polling places, UTJ won a total of 146,958 votes from supporters who responded to calls by gedolei Yisroel to make every effort to vote. The showing represents an increase of 12,032 votes compared to the previous elections.

Figures released by the Central Election Committee show that UTJ received 3,956 votes from ballots cast at military and handicapped polls. Over 100,000 of UTJ's votes were cast in major chareidi population centers — Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modi'in Illit, Ashdod, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Elad, Haifa, Rechovot, Rechasim, Ofakim, Tzfat, Netivot, Kiryat Gat, Telzstone, Zichron Yaakov, Chatzor Glilit, Carmiel and Tifrach — which posted an impressive total increase of 11,285 voters compared to the previous elections.

On the other hand fewer UTJ votes were cast in several cities with notable chareidi populations, including Netanya, Petach Tikva, Tiberius and Arad. Decreases were also reported in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Be'er Sheva, Rosh Ha'ayin, Kiryat Ata, Givatayim, Beit She'an, Kiryat Ono, Kiryat Shmoneh and Kiryat Arba.

UTJ officials are very pleased with the results, which point to a significant increase of over 15,000 votes in largely chareidi areas, though the party's showing was moderated by the voter apathy prevailing until 2-3 days before the elections.

Jerusalem cast the largest number of UTJ votes with 39,439, which represents an increase of 1,140 votes. In Bnei Brak the party received 34,149 votes, an increase of 1,803. In Modi'in Illit UTJ received 8,288 votes, an increase of 2,191. In Ashdod 7,900, an increase of 1,225; in Beit Shemesh 4,803, an increase of 1,310; in Beitar Illit 4,213, an increase of 838, in Elad 3,397, an increase of 1,098; in Haifa 3,246, an increase of 382; in Rechovot 1,760, an increase of 20; in Rechasim 1,301, an increase of 87; in Ofakim 1,250, an increase of 170; and in Hadera 923, an increase of 172.

More UTJ votes were also posted in Rishon Letzion and Tzfat, with 111 additional voters each, 59 in Netivot, 148 in Kiryat Gat, 68 in Bat Yam and 224 in Zichron Yaakov.

In Tel Aviv 84 fewer votes were cast for UTJ, bringing the city's total down to 2,846; in Netanya support fell by 428 votes to 1,598 and Petach Tikva went down 87 votes to 3,687.

Ramat Gan posted a decrease of 148 votes, Be'er Sheva a decrease of 104 votes and Ashkelon a decrease of 2 votes. Several surprises also emerged in non-chareidi cities. In Ramat Hasharon UTJ received 619 votes, an increase of 264 votes compared to the last elections. In Holon 613 voters chose UTJ, an increase of 103 votes, Carmiel doubled the number of votes cast for UTJ from 290 to 582 and in Chatzor 86 votes were added, bringing the total up to 577.

UTJ notes large chareidi population centers posted the most substantial increases, especially Modi'in Illit, followed by Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, Ashdod, Jerusalem and Elad.

Notable increases appeared in several mixed and traditional cities thanks to effective campaigning and concerted efforts by both local and national party activists. However, decreases in certain traditional and secular communities were also reported.

The total increase of 15,000 votes fell below expectations since the chareidi community currently has an annual natural growth rate of about 5 percent, which should have translated into 20,000 more votes over the three years since elections were last held. The shortfall indicates that despite the high voter turnout in chareidi areas and the impressive increase of 15,000 votes, many UTJ voters did not go to the polls. According to this calculation the gap between the increase in the number of votes in chareidi areas and the decrease in the number of votes within the general population that is presumed non-chareidi comes to 3,000 votes.

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