The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has released the results from their Israeli election straw poll. And the winner is the Kachol Lavon, or Blue and White party; a Centrist party which emerged earlier this year with 56 percent of the vote.
The Meretz party, a left-wing socialist party was in second place with 17 percent of the vote, followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party Likud with 16 percent of the votes.
The remaining votes went to Ha-Avodah (12%), Haiamin Hachadash (6%), Kulanu (5%), Gesher (2%). Israel Beytenu (2%). Shas (2%), Habait Hayehudi (1%) and Chadash (1%). These numbers do not represent the Israeli view, nor does it predict how the election might turn out.
Over a thousand people took part in the mock election, as part of the JCRC’s and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s IsraVote program. The results from the poll were released on April 8, the day before the Israeli election. The votes were collected from several different events from the past month.
The program was designed to educate community members about Israeli politics and the election process. Shlichim or Israeli emissaries, hosted events throughout the DC Metro area. After, learning about the elections, people had the opportunity to cast their votes in a mock election.
“We wanted to celebrate democracy and wanted our community to have an understanding of the process,” Alexis Schwartz, the director of the Israel Action Center said.
She said that the voting process was the same as it was in Israel; people would take a slip of paper with the name of their preferred party on it, place it in an envelope and place that in a box.
“It’s more about the spirit of the election process,” Schwartz said. “It was a lot of fun. People got to learn about the different parties; [Last night, we had] people representing the different parties, people got to mingle and we heard from some really great experts about the campaign in Israel. I think people left knowing a lot more about [the Elections] and about how things may shape out.”