1951 Israeli legislative election

Elections for the second Knesset
Elections for the 2nd Knesset
← 1949 22 30 July 1951 1955 →
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Mapai David Ben-Gurion 37.3% 45 -1
General Zionists Israel Rokach 16.2% 20 +13
Mapam Meir Ya'ari 12.5% 15 -4
Hapoel HaMizrachi Haim-Moshe Shapira 6.8% 8
Herut Menachem Begin 6.6% 8 -6
Maki Shmuel Mikunis 4.0% 5 +1
Progressive Party Pinchas Rosen 3.2% 4 -1
Democratic List for Israeli Arabs Seif el-Din el-Zoubi 2.0% 3 +1
Agudat Yisrael Yitzhak-Meir Levin 2.0% 3
Sephardim and Oriental Communities Eliyahu Eliashar 1.8% 2 -2
PAI Binyamin Mintz 1.6% 2
Mizrachi David-Zvi Pinkas 1.5% 2
Progress and Work Salah-Hassan Hanifes 1.2% 1 New
Yemenite Association Shimon Garidi 1.2% 1 0
Agriculture and Development Faras Hamdan 1.1% 1 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
President Chaim Weizmann votes
Bedouin man votes

Elections for the second Knesset were held in Israel on 30 July 1951. Voter turnout was 75.1%.[1]


1951 Knesset.svg
General Zionists111,39416.2020+13
Hapoel HaMizrachi46,3476.748+1
Progressive Party22,1713.224−1
Democratic List for Israeli Arabs16,3702.383New
Agudat Yisrael13,7992.013+1
Sephardim and Oriental Communities12,0021.752−2
Poalei Agudat Yisrael11,1941.632−1
Progress and Work8,0671.171New
Yemenite Association7,9651.1610
Agriculture and Development7,8511.141New
Sepharadim-Ashkenazim Unity4,0380.590New
For New Immigrants and Freed Soldiers3750.050New
Valid votes687,49298.92
Invalid/blank votes7,5151.08
Total votes695,007100.00
Registered voters/turnout924,88575.15
Source: IDI, Nohlen et al.


The second Knesset was highly unstable, with four separate governments, two different Prime Ministers and several defections; Rostam Bastuni, Avraham Berman and Moshe Sneh left Mapam and set up the Left Faction. Bastuni later returned to Mapam whilst Berman and Sneh joined Maki. Hannah Lamdan and David Livschitz also left Mapam, establishing the Faction independent of Ahdut HaAvoda before joining Mapai. Four other members left Mapam to found Ahdut HaAvoda – Poale Zion, but the move was not recognised by the Knesset speaker. During the Knesset term, Sephardim and Oriental Communities joined the General Zionists.

As with the first Knesset, the speaker was Yosef Sprinzak.

Third government

The second Knesset started with David Ben-Gurion forming the third government of Israel (the first Knesset had two governments) on 8 October 1951. His Mapai party formed a coalition with Mizrachi, Hapoel HaMizrachi, Agudat Yisrael, Agudat Yisrael Workers and the three Israeli Arab parties, the Democratic List for Israeli Arabs, Progress and Work and Agriculture and Development. Like the first Knesset, there were 15 ministers. The government resigned on 19 December 1952 due to a dispute with the religious parties over religious education.

Fourth government

Ben-Gurion formed the fourth government on 24 December 1952, dropping the ultra-orthodox parties (Agudat Yisrael and Agudat Yisrael Workers) and replacing them with the General Zionists and the Progressive Party. The new government had 16 ministers. Ben-Gurion resigned on 6 December 1953 as he wished to settle in the Negev kibbutz of Sde Boker.

Fifth government

Moshe Sharett formed the fifth government on 26 January 1954 with the same coalition partners and ministers. Sharett resigned on 29 June 1955, when the General Zionists refused to abstain from voting on a motion of no-confidence brought by Herut and Maki over the government's position on the trial of Malchiel Gruenwald, who had accused Rudolf Kastner of collaborating with the Nazis.

Sixth government

Sharett formed the sixth government on 29 June 1955, eliminating the General Zionists and the Progressive Party from the coalition and reducing the number of ministers to 12. The new government did not last long, as a general election was called for 26 July 1955.

See also


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p123 ISBN 0-19-924958-X

External links

  • Historical overview of the Second Knesset Knesset website
  • Knesset Elections Results: Second Knesset Knesset website
  • Factional and Government Make-Up of the Second Knesset Knesset website